COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — According to a leaked ruling obtained Monday by Politico, the United States Supreme Court is set to turn the issue of abortion back to the states.
What does that mean for Ohio?
Should the Supreme Court’s decision come down as written in the draft, individual states would then be able to pass laws on whether abortions would be allowed and, if so, under what circumstances.
A bill known as a “trigger ban” was introduced in the Ohio Senate in March of 2021. The Human Life Protection Act, which has yet to be passed by the statehouse and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, would immediately prohibit abortion in Ohio.
The act would allow for exceptions in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, but would not allow abortions in cases of rape or incest.
Anyone who causes or induces an abortion could be found guilty of a fourth-degree felony, according to the bill as written.
A first hearing was held on a companion bill — House Bill 598 – the Enact Human Life Protection Act — in the Ohio House of Representatives last week. That bill, as written, includes the same prohibitions and punishments as the Senate bill.
The draft opinion obtained by Politico is not final until it is officially released by the U.S. Supreme Court, something that can happen at any time. In the draft opinion, Justice Samuel Alito writes the Court had no jurisdiction in deciding Roe v. Wade in the first place, stating abortion laws should be decided by the states.
An AP-NORC poll in December found that Democrats increasingly see protecting abortion rights as a high priority for the government.
Other polling shows relatively few Americans want to see Roe overturned. In 2020, AP VoteCast found that 69% of voters in the presidential election said the Supreme Court should leave the Roe v. Wade decision as is; just 29% said the court should overturn the decision. In general, AP-NORC polling finds a majority of the public favors abortion being legal in most or all cases.
Still, when asked about abortion policy generally, Americans have nuanced attitudes on the issue, and many don’t think that abortion should be possible after the first trimester or that women should be able to obtain a legal abortion for any reason.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.