WCPO: Abortions dropped 15% across Ohio last year

UC abortion researcher points to Ohio's 'heartbeat law' as one reason

New data was recently released by the Ohio Department of Health showing a 15% decline on induced abortions in the state. 

The data is part of an annual report, but the numbers do not include Ohio residents who obtained abortions across state lines.

headshot of Danielle Bessett

Professor Danielle Bessett is an abortion researcher on faculty at the University of Cincinnati. Photo/provided.

The decline is clearly linked to the loss of access, University of Cincinnati sociology professor Danielle Bessett told WCPO in an Oct. 4, 2023 news segment.

“Once we hit the heartbeat ban, we actually see a real significant drop,” she said.

Ohio’s ‘heartbeat law’ took effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. The law bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. A judge put a pause on the law, but it still had an impact, says Bessett.  

Bessett conducts abortion research with the Ohio Policy Evaluation Network (OPEN), which tracks abortion numbers month by month. She is also affiliate faculty in the UC Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Abortion rights are on the ballot in Ohio in November.

Watch the WCPO segment 

Featured image at top of Ohio's statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. Photo/iStock/gnagel

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