On September 2, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the law firm WilmerHale filed a lawsuit in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas bringing a state constitutional challenge against SB 23, a law banning abortion at approximately six weeks of pregnancy. The reproductive rights organizations ask the court to immediately restore Ohioans’ reproductive rights secured by the Ohio Constitution. This lawsuit comes more than two months after the draconian bill took effect on June 24, 2022 for the first time since it was passed in 2019, causing an immediate, devastating crisis across the state. Due to the ongoing irreparable harm to Ohioans, the reproductive rights organizations have withdrawn the lawsuit they initially filed in the state Supreme Court in late June and are asking the lower court to grant immediate relief blocking the ban.

The reproductive rights organizations and WilmerHale filed the lawsuit on behalf of Preterm-Cleveland, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center, Toledo Women’s Center, and Dr. Sharon Liner, an individual abortion provider, to protect the right to abortion in our state under the Ohio Constitution. 

Banning abortion for women and anyone that needs abortion care disproportionately harms people of color, those struggling to make ends meet, young people, rural residents, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ communities. If abortion remains banned in Ohio, Black women and other people of color will continue to bear the brunt of the harm it inflicts. These communities already face a severe maternal mortality crisis that is worse in states that  ban abortion.

The reproductive rights organizations involved are committed to pursuing every possible option to restore reproductive freedom. The fight for abortion access is far from over. The plaintiffs are asking the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas to order state officials not to enforce SB 23 and to declare the ban unconstitutional.

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