CLEVELAND — In the weeks since The Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, we’ve seen protests, trigger laws go into effect and confusion.
Becky Ruppert McMahon is the Chief Executive Officer at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. She said the organization has been flooded with calls from people asking where Ohio stands, post-Dobbs.
“People saying ‘is Ohio still performing an abortion? If I need an abortion where can I go?,’” she said. “We were also then hearing from our membership, who are lawyers, and judges, and law students and business people who were saying ‘I don’t understand what the laws are. I don’t understand what is different today.’”
Ian Friedman, Friedman & Nemecek, said he, too, received those calls.
“Everyone is looking for information. Everyone is looking for an answer,” he said. “A provider, here in Ohio, reached out on a Sunday night and said, ‘Ian, what does tomorrow look like for us?’ and I realized that that question was going to be the most commonly asked question.”
So Friedman worked with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association to host a symposium, Monday evening, to try and answer some of those questions.
“Our goal is to take the critical issues that are happening around us, that impact the law and to break them down and explain them in a way that, not only, lawyers can understand but also people who are living day to day can understand,” said Ruppert McMahon. “We brought together medical providers, lawyers, people involved in the policy-level, really everyone who presents a different perspective about what’s been happening was essential to us.”
The symposium covered four main topics: abortion 101, knowing your rights, where we are going and regulation/compliance.
“They heard from the patient perspective all the way through the front line workers, the counselors, the providers and then those of us, the lawyers, who are now being asked those questions,” said Friedman.
Friedman noted that while there was a lot they can gather the answers to, there’s a lot of questions that the answers just aren’t known yet.
"I expect there’s a good chance that tomorrow will be different in its law and the application here in Ohio, from what it is right now, and that’s jut the way it’s going to be,” he said. “The Dobbs case represents probably the largest shift in the legal landscape that most of us have seen in our professional careers.”
But he noted that’s why it’s important to have informational symposiums, to figure out what the public needs to know and what answers professionals need to seek to help navigate the new medical and legal landscape.
“While the Dobbs decision came out very quickly, what’s not going to be quick are the answers that are going to result from it,” he said.