Ohio’s Six Week Abortion Ban Blocked by Federal Judge

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Ohio’s Six Week Abortion Ban Blocked by Federal JudgeColumbus abortion rights organizations joined #StopTheBans protests nationwide on May 21, 2019. Photo by Taijuan Moorman.
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Ohio’s six week abortion ban has been blocked by a federal judge. Planned to go into effect on July 11, the state’s most restrictive abortion measure has now been delayed.

Senior US District Judge Michael Barrett issued an injunction on Wednesday, temporarily preventing the ban from becoming law. 

“Inasmuch as this Court has determined that SB 23 places an ‘undue burden’ on a woman’s right to choose pre-viability abortion, and thus violates her right to privacy guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, we further determine that its enforcement would…inflict irreparable harm,” Barrett writes in the court opinion in favor of plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio (ACLU) and Preterm Cleveland.

In April, Gov. Mike DeWine signed the law, which put doctors and abortion providers in the crosshairs of legal action should an elective abortion be performed after fetal cardiac activity is discovered. Providers would face a fifth-degree felony, jail time, and a $2,500 fine.

The six week ban is just one in a string of restrictions passed by Ohio’s Republican governors over the last decade. Former governor John Kasich signed 22 abortion restrictions into law, though declined to pass the blatantly unconstitutional six week ban. 

“The most important thing that Ohioans need to know is that abortion access is available in Ohio. When a person has decided to have an abortion, they should be able to access that care safely, affordably, in their community, with support and respect, not shame or pressure,” said Jaime Miracle, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Deputy Director, in a statement. “With Gov. DeWine’s attack on abortion rights now blocked, the doctors, nurses, staff, and volunteers at nine facilities across the state can continue to assist patients in safely terminating a pregnancy.”

The ban’s days in court are far from over, as Republican lawmakers, in Ohio and beyond, have indicated their interest in taking the issue all the way to the conservative-heavy U.S. Supreme Court for a hopeful overturn of Roe. v Wade.

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