Here’s Why Ohio’s Proposed Abortion Law Could Be Even More Harmful Than S.B. 8

Bill 480 would ban abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

Credit: Getty Images SOPA Images / Contributor
Credit: Getty Images SOPA Images / Contributor

Ohio lawmakers are proposing a new law, House Bill 480, which would make abortion at any stage of pregnancy illegal throughout the state.

The highly restrictive bill would allow any citizen to sue those who perform an abortion, and would grant $10,000 in damages to anyone who is successful in their complaint.

Much like S.B. 8, the Texas law banning abortions after six weeks, a time when many women are not even aware that they are pregnant, Ohio’s law does not provide exceptions for mothers whose pregnancy was a result of rape or incest.

Ohio’s measure also would not grant exceptions for cases of sexual assault, making it even more restrictive Texas’s so-called “heartbeat bill.”

Since, under the law, any private citizen would be permitted to file lawsuit against anyone suspected of performing an abortion, many Ohio clinics would be susceptible to more lawsuits, which poses an increased financial risks. A lack of financial resources among abortion clinics would also make them less accessible for women seeking the procedure. 

Lawmakers in 12 other states, including Mississippi, North Dakota, and Indiana, have discussed introducing laws similar to Bill 480.

If enacted, the new measure could pose significant problems for women living in low-income communities: According to a study published by the American Journal of Public Health, women with a low economic status had higher abortion rates than women with larger incomes.

The Supreme Court is set to weigh S.B. 8 once again next week, after hearing cases brought forth by abortion providers in Texas and a lawsuit from the Biden administration on November 1.

2021 has been a record year in the U.S. for the highest number anti-abortion measures in a single year. Read more about some of the abortion restrictions introduced in 2021 here.