Full Sixth Circuit to Review Unconstitutional Ohio Abortion Ban

Full Appeals Court to Hear Challenge to Law Criminalizing Abortion Based on the Patient’s Reason

Affiliate: ACLU of Ohio
December 13, 2019 6:30 pm

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CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals announced today that it would review en banc a case challenging an Ohio abortion ban.

The law, which was blocked by the district court, criminalizes abortion when one of the patient’s reasons for seeking an abortion is a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome. The law remains blocked while the appeal is pending.

“This law is part of an orchestrated agenda — nationally and in Ohio — to push abortion out of reach entirely,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project. “It does nothing to improve access to health care, education, or other services for people with disabilities, nor does it do anything to address the systemic discrimination they face.”

“Instead of banning abortion, Ohio politicians should be ensuring that all pregnant people are able to make the decisions that are best for them and their families, and have the support to raise their children with dignity,” said Jessie Hill, cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Ohio. “We will continue to fight against this, and all attempts by politicians to criminalize abortion and interfere with personal medical decisions.”

Since this bill was signed into law in December 2017, Ohio has passed two additional abortion bans, both of which are being challenged in federal court: a bill banning abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy when many people don’t even know they are pregnant, and a bill banning the medically preferred method for performing an abortion after the first trimester.

The Ohio laws are three of the 483 state restrictions on abortion passed since 2011. This challenge was brought by the ACLU, the ACLU of Ohio, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and attorney Jennifer Branch of Gerhardstein & Branch on behalf of Preterm Cleveland, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, and Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation.

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