We’re Suing to Block Ohio’s Abortion Ban

Today we filed a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s ban on abortion starting at six weeks of pregnancy. Our lawsuit comes a day after Alabama passed a similar law and weeks after Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi passed similar measures.

A ban on abortion starting at six weeks is a ban on almost all abortions. Before six weeks, most people do not even know that they are pregnant. 

Legally, this case is straightforward. A ban on abortion is blatantly unconstitutional under more than 45 years of Supreme Court precedent starting with Roe v. Wade. The Ohio law we’ve challenged today flies in the face of that precedent and of the Constitution. We’ve asked the court to block the law before it can take effect on July 10.

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The consequences of this law taking effect would be devastating. Approximately 90% of abortions in Ohio take place at and after six weeks. If this law were to go into effect, the vast majority of Ohioans will no longer be able to obtain an abortion. People of color, people struggling financially, and young people will be disproportionately affected. Black women are three times more likely than white women to die of causes related to pregnancy, and denying women access to desired abortions while failing to adequately address these disparities will only result in more bad outcomes.   

The six-week ban that we are challenging today is not an isolated attack on abortion by Ohio politicians. Instead, it builds on decades of abortion restrictions that already exist in the state, including a mandatory waiting period requiring two trips to the health center, parental consent for minors, and bans on insurance coverage for abortion.

Since 2011, anti-abortion politicians around the country have been chipping away at abortion access, passing more than 400 abortion restrictions. Quietly pushing abortion out of reach in this way has been a core part of the strategy for decades, starting back in the 1970s when U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) first proposed a law that prevents people enrolled in Medicaid from using their insurance to cover the cost of an abortion if they need one. In explaining the reason for his proposal, Rep. Hyde said, “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the Medicaid bill.”

But this year — emboldened by the Trump administration’s attacks on reproductive health care access and the changes on the Supreme Court — states are taking direct aim at Roe v. Wade. Despite strong public support for affordable and barrier-free access to abortion care, they hope the balance of the Supreme Court has turned against abortion rights with enough votes to aggressively and systematically dismantle abortion access. These laws are part of a concerted, national effort to eliminate access to safe and legal abortion. Politicians pass draconian, blatantly unconstitutional abortion restrictions knowing they will get blocked while planning to appeal every legal challenge until they force the Supreme Court to outlaw abortion. 

Along with partner organizations, we have vowed to challenge the Alabama and Georgia measures — just as we have in Ohio — and have already blocked the law in Kentucky. A challenge to Mississippi’s law is pending. Make no mistake, while the right to abortion is under unprecedented attack, abortion is a constitutional right — and it is currently legal in all 50 states. Roe has been the law of the land for over 40 years, and we will do everything we can to ensure that people are able to get the care they need without shame, obstacles, and stigma.

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Molly McWilliams

Thank you for giving me hope.

Anonymous

It does not state anywhere in the Constitution that anyone has the right to murder a baby in the womb. Abstinence, birth control pills, condoms... many methods to keep from reproducing. abortion kills a unique human being, it is not the mother's body, like an appendix, finger, hair. The human has a unique dna code different from the mother. reproduction has already occurred and you are killing a human being and you should be charged with murder.

Anonymous

You have NO idea what you’re even talking about. First off, people can use protection AND birth control and both of those could fail. It is rare, but I know two people this has happened to. Second, if an individual goes through rape or incest you really think they should be forced to carry a child? NO, they shouldn’t. In Ohio, an 11 year old got raped by a 23 year old man. Ohio is now forcing her to carry a baby. You really think an 11 year old is capable of carrying a baby when she’s still a baby herself? You are crazy. Some women are not able to carry a child, their bodies aren’t stable enough. This is a fact. The heartbeat bill is INSANE. Many people don’t even know they’re pregnant within 6 weeks. Pregnancy tests can give you a FALSE negative. Some people don’t experience symptoms this early on. Learn some facts first before giving your input, saying abortion is murder. At 6 weeks the fetus doesn’t have an actual heartbeat, IT IS A MURMUR. ALSO, I don’t think you understand that though condoms and other methods of contraceptives are available, some men don’t want to use protection. Before coming at women why don’t you teach men THAT USING CONDOMS AND PROTECTION IS ALSO IMPORTANT. Many men just don’t want to use protection because it “doesn’t feel as good”. LET’S TEACH MEN TO STOP BEING PIGS WHEN IT COMES TO SEX. Lastly, yes, a women who gets pregnant can give the baby up for adoption. BUT DO YOU SEE THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEMS AROUND THE WORLD? They are OVER CROWDED with children. They are not able to properly take care of those children. Many treat those children terribly and neglect them. SO WHY DON’T YOU LEARN SOME FACTS FIRST BEFORE PUTTING YOUR TWO SENSE IN?

Anonymous

Good thing babies aren't murdered.

Marcia

I remember when I, just like you, lived in an ignorant bubble. I seen absolutely no reason, ever, for there to be a need for abortion. I was loudly outspoken about it. Shamed women who chose that route, and would be first in line to sign up to boycott an abortion clinic. Now, fast forward to many years later....I also never imagined I would be raising 6 grandkids. I never imagined I would have a 14 year old grandson that would brutally rape and violate every hole on my 11 year old granddaughter. He was convicted on 3 counts of felony rape....he got of easy. I sat in the exam room holding my granddaughters hand, trying to keep her calm with a game of I-spy while she had her first pelvic exam. Before that, I spent many hours alone with my God, trying to figure out what to do if she came back pregnant. What my granddaughter had already been through, at the hands of her brother, was traumatic and pain. There was no question what my decision would be. I would never force her to carry her brothers child. Had she came back pregnant SHE WOULD HAVE HAD AN ABORTION. I had already failed her by not realizing I would need to protect her from her brother. I would not fail the sweet 11 year old again. I had my conversation with God and while I am still a woman of very strong faith, if abortion was or is a sin, then I was ready to go to hell for my granddaughter. This is a very personal decision that should be left to the woman, her Dr. and more importantly, God. We have no right to take this choice away from any woman.

Anonymous

This is not altruism, this is your opinion. And it should not interfere with a woman’s control over HER body and the decision she makes in private with her doctor.

Ms. Gloria Anasyrma

"Only bastards should be aborted": Charles, Prince of Whales circa 1973.

Anonymous

What a “noble” figure you have quoted.

Joseph Klein

American Civil Liberties Union. DEFENDERS OF HUMAN RIGHTS. Yeah. What a JOKE. Where are all of you SUPERHEROES, when there are immigrant families being RIPPED apart at the border, immigrants being DETAINED at the border behind FENCES, and immigrant CHILDREN ARE DYING AND BEING RAPED at the border? FUCKING DO YOUR JOBS AND DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS, COMMON DECENCY and SO CALLED "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness", which is ALSO A LIE.

Ms. Gloria Anasyrma

If it wasn't for the ACLU,, Mr. Klein, you would know the meaning of the word "bastinado".

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