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Lawmaker introduces bill that would let Ohioans sue over unintended pregnancies

Abortion–South Carolina
Posted at 5:27 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 19:27:25-04

An Ohio Democratic lawmaker proposed an idea this week in response to the state's recent six-week ban on abortion going into effect.

On Thursday, Sen. Tina Maharath introduced a bill that would allow a pregnant person to file a civil case against a sexual partner if an unintended pregnancy were to occur, regardless of the circumstances.

"Too often, this cost is solely the mother’s to bear, especially in the case of an unintended pregnancy. However, the father shares equal responsibility for the pregnancy, and it is only right that he pays equally for it," Maharath said.

According to the bill, if the court sided with the pregnant person, the defendant would have to pay damages to the plaintiff no less than $5,000 plus court costs and attorney fees.

With the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Ohio's "heartbeat" law took effect, which means anyone who is six weeks pregnant or more cannot abort the fetus.

"This law is already having devastating effects, as we learned that a 10-year-old rape victim had to travel out of state to receive an abortion," Maharath said on Twitter. "While this situation is tragic and should never have happened, I am relieved that she had the resources to leave Ohio to have a necessary medical procedure."

According to The Statehouse News Bureau, a Senate committee has not had a hearing about the bill.