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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Anonymous

Thank you ACLU for standing up for women!

Anonymous

What is the next step? Will the bill be blocked before it goes into law? When will we hear a response from the lawsuit you filed? And who did you file it to?

Estevan Trujillo

I believe that the challenge and battle of Abortion should be waged by asymmetrical lawfare. The laws against Abortion are an unfunded mandate by government interfearing on a fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursue of happiness on wemen and men who just don’t want or ready for kids. Alabama and Ohio should be obligated to providing for all children born because of this there laws. The court case should not be about weither Roe verse Wade is legal, but that anti Abortion laws are unfunded mandates, period, and programs should provide this unborn love one with more than adequate, Heath, education through college, housing and a middle class life style.

AnonymouS

I think what you're saying is, if a socialist system of support were available in Alabama and Ohio, then all pregnancies would be required to go to full term because there would be resources and support for all children, in fact all people, to live well. Which presents the counterargument, that capitalism requires that if pregnant, you only seek the benefits for which you alone have the necessary resources and support -- and you cut off and terminate anything or anyone that cannot be paid for. So by this rationale, capitalism mandates abortion, and socialism mandates non-abortion, because the people involved must make decisions based on the availability of assets to raise the children properly.

If you see this as a cogent argument, then you'll see that certain states that are Republican, and prefer anti-abortion, also don't assist financially with prenatal care, childcare, healthcare, schooling -- and are often for the death penalty. If the budget doesn't exist for these services for the people, it makes sense that capitalism would work better if abortion were REQUIRED for those people who couldn't afford the children, since they would be a financial burden that would end very badly. Religion has no place in capitalism, so that wouldn't affect the situation here, few religious zealous are honed in on just making money; and capitalism is spear-headed by corporate share-holders, who really don't care how the profit is made, just so they get in the double digit returns on their investment. That's why the military-industrial complex is so profitable, since as a capitalist you are willing to cut services if that increases your profits, and if you're willing to accept abortion, reduction of government support and oversight, and the death penalty -- then going to war is a no-brainer. Religious people call that evil.

Anonymous

Point blank ask these fuckers if they are claiming the right of ownership of women's bodies. This is NOTHING less than slavery.

Anonymous

Roe was not based on constitutionality but on the views of activists Judges. Bad law

Anonymous

People are maybe forgetting that easy access to abortion drastically lowered the crime rates years later. All babies should be wanted and loved.

Anonymous

Thank you for fighting for us. People’s personal and religious convictions should never control any woman’s body. Ever. If men’s bodies were being controlled it would be an entirely different story (hence no male body restrictions).

Katherine Nagel

Nothing about us, without us. Glad I was able to help. Good luck<3

Anonymous

How befitting of this president, a man who does not respect women, who attacks women of color, who does not respect the courage of the Me Too survivors, and who uses women for his own sexual misconduct - then tries to cover it up to acquire a presidency and power. And now he wants to deny women their constitutional rights? There are a few names for this man that I cannot repeat here.

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