The fight for abortion access just got a lot more serious in Ohio.
A bill that includes language banning abortions once a heartbeat is detected won passage in the state House this week. It now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. John Kasich, who has 10 days to decide whether to sign it into law.
A fetal heartbeat can happen as early as six weeks after conception — which is before most women realize they’re actually pregnant, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America. The so-called “heartbeat bill” has been denounced as unconstitutional by organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Whether it becomes law is now in Kasich’s hands. But that doesn’t mean your hands are tied when it comes to fighting back.
Here are three ways you can take action if you oppose this measure.
Contact Kasich’s office:
This is the simplest and most effective way of making your voice heard. It’s true that Kasich does have a pro-life record, but that doesn’t mean that he is automatically in agreement with the language in the heartbeat bill.
One of the first things you can do is call his office and ask him to veto the proposal. You can contact Kasich at the following number: 614-466-3555 (and remember, calling is one of the most effective ways to get the attention of elected officials). Another option is emailing. NARAL made available this handy form you can use to do that.
Donate to groups set to fight the policy if it passes:
Organizations committed to supporting reproductive rights need your backing now more than ever. If you have the resources to do so, consider donating to groups like Planned Parenthoodand NARAL. Their local and national chapters are at the forefront of the battle for abortion rights.
Also consider supporting organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, which already said it would fight Kasich in court if the bill becomes a law. You can find out how to contribute here.
Speak up on social media and IRL:
Tell people in your social media spheres about the heartbeat bill. Explain to them what it is, what it could mean for women, and how can they can join you to help put a stop to it.
Remember that there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet about abortions. Sharing accurate, credible sources and information can help combat that spread. The bottom line: You should discuss reproductive rights with your family and friends. Here’s a list of important questions surrounding this topic, and here’s a guide on how to talk about abortion with your family.