Ohio’s ‘heartbeat bill’ that was passed in 2019 but didn’t take effect until the day after the Extreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade bans abortions after six weeks. Health care providers who violate the law face fifth-degree felony charges, up to a year in prison, loss of their medical license, and fines up to $20,000.
Christina Zielke became pregnant back in July but an ultrasound confirmed the pregnancy was not viable and ended in a miscarriage. Her Ob-Gyn’s office called her to discuss her options:
- Take medication to make the pregnancy tissue come out faster.
- Have a dilation and curettage or D&C procedure to remove the pregnancy tissue from her uterus,.
- Or, wait for her body to expel the tissue.
Her doctor suggested waiting but never told her how long it would take for her body to expel the tissue.
After a few weeks with no change, she looked online and read that for some people it takes weeks before vaginal bleeding starts. “So I counted myself as one of those women – it was just taking longer for my body – and I tried to put it out of my mind,” she says.
She and her husband traveled to Ohio to attend a wedding party for her younger brother.
But that wasn’t it. The next night, at around 4 a.m., she started to bleed again – a lot.
The couple traveled to University Hospitals TriPoint Medical Center in Painesville, Ohio, where staff took blood work, performed an ultrasound, and did not detect a fetal heartbeat. However, they were reluctant to give Christina the necessary medical care she needed because….Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill. Instead, they discharged her even though, she was still experiencing a medical emergency.