With New Abortion Restrictions, Ohio Walks Fine Line
CLEVELAND — Angela H., married with two children, became pregnant accidentally and, after a medically difficult time and severe postpartum depression, said neither she nor her family was ready for another child.
Under a law that took effect in Ohio this month, the Cleveland abortion clinic she visited had to offer her a chance not only to view an ultrasound of the fetus but also to watch its beating heart, which she said she resented.
“It’s a hard decision for anybody to make,” she said of abortion, asking that her surname not be published out of privacy concerns. “To make it more difficult by passing these laws and making women feel guilty is terrible.”
Ohio has become a prime laboratory for what anti-abortion leaders call the incremental strategy — passing a web of rules designed to push the hazy boundaries of Supreme Court guidelines without flagrantly violating them. Many of the rules, critics say, are designed to discourage women from getting abortions or to hamper clinic operations, even forcing some to close.