© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Protesters pray outside the Planned Parenthood site in Columbus, Ohio, U.S., November 12, 2021 as the state considers restrictive abortion laws. REUTERS / Gaelen Morse
By Brendan Pierson
(Reuters) – An Ohio judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked enforcement of the Republican-led abortion ban after about six weeks following legal challenges by Planned Parenthood affiliates and service providers. other abortions.
Judge Christian Jenkins of Hamilton County General Pleas Court in Cincinnati found that the state’s constitution includes the right to abortion. Jenkins’ emergency order is due to expire in two weeks, but the service providers have asked the judge for another order that could block the law as long as the case continues.
“We are grateful that Ohioans can once again have broad access to abortion care in their state,” the plaintiffs said in a joint statement.
Yost spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office is reviewing the decision and will consult with Republican Governor Mike DeWine on next steps.
Ohio in 2019 passed a law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks, with exceptions to prevent death or serious injury to the mother but not for rape or incest.
The state’s Supreme Court allowed the law to go into effect in July after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade that guaranteed abortion rights nationwide. Ohio’s law gained national attention later that month when a 10-year-old rape victim was forced to go to Indiana for an abortion.
In their September 2 lawsuit, Planned Parenthood and other providers argued that the state constitution still protects abortion rights.
Jenkins agreed, in part because the state’s 2011 constitutional amendment prohibits laws prohibiting the sale or purchase of primary health care intended by opponents of the federal Affordable Care Act. to uphold the “freedom of health care.”
The judge said that despite its origins, the amendment was “a direct recognition of the fundamental nature of freedom in health care decisions.”