The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Ohio, and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit challenging a new Ohio law banning abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy. This law would effectively eliminate abortion access in the state and impose an unconstitutional ban on abortion.
The federal lawsuit, brought on behalf of Preterm-Cleveland and other abortion providers in Ohio, seeks immediate relief to prevent the six-week abortion ban from taking effect on July 10. Governor Mike DeWine was the fifth governor to sign this type of abortion ban into law this year.
Ohio Senate Bill 23 would ban abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy, a point at which most people do not even know they are pregnant. In their lawsuit, plaintiffs argue this law would ban approximately 90 percent of abortions in Ohio, which would disproportionately affect people of color, people struggling financially, and young people.
A court has already blocked a nearly identical measure in Kentucky. Abortion providers have sued in Mississippi and have announced their intent to sue in Georgia and Alabama in the coming months. None of the bans are in effect and abortion remains legal in all 50 states.
Ohio is one of 12 other states that have considered similar legislation so far this year.
The Ohio law is part of a national strategy to push abortion out of reach. Since 2010, state politicians have passed more than 400 medically unnecessary and politically motivated restrictions that force patients to delay care, shut down clinics, and make abortion care unaffordable.
Preterm-Cleveland is represented by the ACLU and ACLU of Ohio; Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region and Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio are represented by Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Gerhardstein & Branch; Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation and Capital Care Network of Toledo are represented by Gerhardstein & Branch. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief to hold Ohio’s six-week ban unconstitutional and unenforceable.