Ohio House Bill Requires Doctors to Inform Expectant Mothers of Health Risks Following an Abortion

A Republican state lawmaker in Ohio introduced a bill to prioritize the health of pregnant women in the state, leading to better maternal outcomes with each pregnancy.

The legislation sponsored by State Representative Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester) will impose obligations on medical professionals who perform abortions, requiring them to remain informed of the most recent, correct medical knowledge regarding the possibility of adverse effects. Then, this measure mandates that the provider inform the expectant mother of the information.

According to data from the Ohio Department of Health, medical professionals perform over 20,000 abortion procedures annually in the state of Ohio.

“These women deserve to have all the facts regarding potential complications and side-effects as a result of an abortion procedure. Both in the short term and in the long term future. One thing that should be common for all of us, a commitment to ensure that the woman who decides to give consent to an abortion procedure is doing so with a clear and fully-informed understanding of the possible impacts such an action will have,” Gross told The Ohio Star.

Gross told The Star that particularly, the necessary information would concentrate on the correlation with post-traumatic stress disorder signs and on the expanding body of research that demonstrates a higher risk of breast tissue cancer as a result of the abrupt end of the pregnancy cycle.

In a Medical Science Monitor 2004 study of U.S. and Russian women who had induced abortions, 65 percent of U.S. women experienced multiple symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which they attributed to their abortions. Slightly over 14 percent reported all the symptoms necessary for a clinical diagnosis of abortion-induced PTSD, and 25 percent said they did not receive adequate counseling. Sixty-four percent said they felt pressured by others to abort.

The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute completed 76 studies about the correlation between abortion and breast cancer risk as of 2020. Of those studies, 61 showed a positive correlation, with 41 studies proving to be statistically significant.

According to the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, if a woman has an induced abortion before 32 weeks but after 20 weeks, she has the same vulnerability as a woman delivering prematurely before 32 weeks because her breasts will not have developed enough Type 4 lobules to protect her against breast cancer. If a woman has an induced abortion before 20 weeks gestation, she will have the same vulnerability as a woman experiencing a non-hormonal spontaneous abortion. Her breasts will have commenced the proliferation of Type 1 and Type 2 (cancer-vulnerable) lobules but will not have experienced the protective processes that mitigate this change.

The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute goes on to say that the longer a woman is pregnant before an induced abortion, the more cancer-vulnerable Type 1 and Type 2 lobules she will develop, and the higher will be her risk for breast cancer.

Additionally, Gross told The Star that this law would update Ohio’s ultrasound regulations to align with those of Kentucky, our neighboring state.

The law would also allow women to sue the provider for damages if they experience negative health effects due to an abortion or subsequently learn that they did. The right to submit a claim would have a one-year statute of limitations, starting from when the woman learns she will suffer these unfavorable effects from the performance of an abortion.

According to Gross, over 20 other states have informed consent laws in regard to abortion procedures, so this common-sense legislation catches Ohio up to the other states.

“In Ohio we need to make a commitment to all pregnant mothers, and be able to provide women with all of the available information so that she has informed consent. Each change in this bill to our current law is simple, straight forward, and commonsense. So this bill is needed in Ohio to help clarify the process, making the steps less confusing and the outcomes more clear,” Gross told The Star.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Jennifer Gross” by The Ohio House of Representatives. Photo “Woman Getting an Ultrasound” by MART PRODUCTION.


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