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Ohio doctors unite to oppose abortion ban

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A group of Ohio physicians is rallying support for a letter of dissent in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the enactment of Ohio six-week abortion ban.

“The movement has quickly gained momentum and has recruited over 900 physicians forming the organization Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights,” a news release from the group states. “They are working collaboratively, with a mission to unify, represent and mobilize Ohio physicians, advocating for all people’s right to evidence-based reproductive medical care, including abortion.”

The letter of dissent is the first of many planned advocacy activities to counter what supporters call the “heartbeat bill.” The letter calls on Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, elected and appointed officials across the state and doctors and patients to work together to repeal the law, contending it is not medically or scientifically based and will endanger the lives of women, especially women of color and from families with less financial security.

“A government that takes away the freedom of women to access critical medical care and threatens physicians with criminal penalties for upholding their oath is un-American,” the letter states, in part.

The bill was passed in the state House and Senate by Republicans, however, with their gerrymandered majorities and signed into law by DeWine in 2019, anticipating the possibility that Roe v. Wade would be overturned. It’s unlikely those officials will reverse themselves.

The law prohibits women from receiving certain medical services including termination of pregnancies after six weeks, a period during which a woman might not even know she is pregnant. The letter contends women are being degraded to the status of second class citizens by the ban.

“It has become painfully clear that women are now losing bodily autonomy, basic human rights and access to life-saving medical care,” the letter states. “The sanctity and privacy of the patient-physician relationship” is being violated.

It’s unclear how many physicians have already signed the letter of dissent, but the group estimates it has the support of more than 700 already and that number could continue to rise. The letter was circulated at a Rally for Reproductive Rights on Public Square in Cleveland that starts at 4 p.m. on Monday.

The group has established a Twitter page.

“We are new on the block because we ARE new. (We are) 700+ physicians in Ohio over the last 48 hours have banded together with a mission to #CodifyRoe in Ohio. We’ve grieved. We are ready. If you practice in Ohio join us,” a post there states.


This story was republished from the Ohio Capital Journal under a Creative Commons license.

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