ACLU Decries Court Decision Upholding Ohio Abortion Procedures Ban, Says Law Significantly Different from Federal Ban

Affiliate: ACLU of Ohio
December 17, 2003 12:00 am

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Statement of Talcott Camp, Deputy Director, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project


CINCINNATI -The American Civil Liberties Union is troubled by today’s decision by a federal appeals court upholding Ohio’s ban on so-called “”partial-birth abortion.”” Though the law differs significantly from the federal ban, the law still endangers women’s health, taking critical medical decisions out of the hands of doctors.

Like the federal ban on safe abortion procedures — which the ACLU is challenging on behalf of the National Abortion Federation — this law dangerously interferes with physicians’ ability to care for their patients. It also prohibits physicians from performing safe abortion procedures.

The Ohio law, however, differs from the federal ban in two important respects. First, the Ohio ban includes a limited health exception. In upholding Ohio’s law, the appeals court recognized that without an exception to protect women’s health, the ban would have been unconstitutional. The federal ban includes no health exception whatsoever, which is the reason three federal courts recently blocked the ban from taking effect.

Second, the definition of the conduct prohibited under the Ohio law differs significantly from the definition contained in the federal ban. Unlike the federal ban, the Ohio law has an exception for the most common procedure used in the second trimester. The federal ban contains no such exception and is written so broadly that it would prohibit a range of abortion procedures performed after the first trimester.

For more information about bans on safe abortion procedures go to: /ReproductiveRights/ReproductiveRightslist.cfm?c=148

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