According to USA Today the Democratic Party attempted to pass a slew of amendments to Ohio Senate Bill 23, which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Most of them were pretty typical things that the Democratic Party proposes whenever discussing abortion laws, but one of them stood out to me as unusual:

On Wednesday, Democrats offered a slew of amendments to offer an exemption for rape and incest, eliminate the statute of limitations on rape, prevent taxpayers from paying the legal bill for the imminent court battle and exempt African-American women from the abortion ban and even require DNA from all men to ensure child support is paid.

At first glance (and likely showing my own political leanings), it appears as though the Democratic Party proposed an amendment saying it is okay for African-American fetuses to be aborted, but not for fetuses of other ethnicities. This sounds similar to racial eugenics platforms of the past (which I don't believe the modern Democratic Party has endorsed). So I'm guessing that there is an alternative explanation, but I'm confused about what it is. Poverty with race as a proxy, maybe?

What is the rationale for Democrats attempting to exempt African-Americans from this Ohio abortion ban?

  • 4
    I hope that this came across as neutral. If it didn't, please feel free to edit my question. Perhaps the rationale is obvious for people of some political persuasions, but as an outsider, I'm kind of confused, and am hoping to better understand their side. Apr 12, 2019 at 21:33
  • Janine Boyd don't look like part of the White Overlords to me. twitter.com/Boyd4OH_D9 Apr 12, 2019 at 23:58
  • One might guess that it would be so the law would immediately be invalidated by the courts, on the grounds that it is racially discriminatory.
    – jamesqf
    Apr 13, 2019 at 0:45
  • @jamesqf: I doubt that was a the case given this tweet: twitter.com/OHHouseDems/status/1116441477280870403 They know the law will likely get struck down as it it. Apr 13, 2019 at 0:58
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    Probably one way to get your name picked up by the press is to propose as many implausible ammendments as possible. She also proposed one for an exception on religious affiliation (also rejected, of course.) twitter.com/ProChoiceOH/status/1115645550542692353 Apr 13, 2019 at 1:11

1 Answer 1


These amendments were put forward by Janine Boyd. On the website of the Ohio House of Representatives there is a press release in which she elaborates those particular amendments a bit more, writing:

Exemption for African-American women, whose history includes rape and forced birth imposed on enslaved women and black women after slavery.

I am not going to analyse that statement as it would be too speculative, but I think it's at least some context to warrant a partial answer.

The rest of the page is also dedicated to the abortion legislation and it's clear from that that she (and by extension others in the Democratic party) support abortion in more cases than the proposed bill allows:

“I submit to citizens that this bill is not about ‘life.’ It proposes that the state will force nearly all pregnant women to carry their pregnancies to term, regardless of how that might threaten her health and her economic security, and it erodes the fundamental freedom we all have as Americans to make important medical and health decisions.”

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