Ohio Judge Blocks Enforcement of Fetal Tissue Disposal Law, Preserving Access to Abortion

Affiliate: ACLU of Ohio
April 5, 2021 2:30 pm

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CINCINNATI, Ohio Today, an Ohio judge granted a preliminary injunction, temporarily halting enforcement of a fetal tissue disposal requirement which was signed into law by Governor DeWine in December of last year. This decision follows a lawsuit filed last month by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the ACLU, ACLU of Ohio, along with Fanon A. Rucker of The Cochran Firm-OH on behalf of Ohio abortion providers. The complaint, filed in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, requested a court order that clinics not be exposed to penalties under Senate Bill 27 – a law which mandates burial or cremation of tissue after an abortion – with which compliance is impossible due to the Ohio Department of Health’s failure to establish or issue necessary rules and regulations.

The law was set to take effect tomorrow, April 6; without this injunction, abortion services in the state were in danger of stopping. The judge’s order prevents the law from taking effect until 30 days after the rulemaking process.

The following statement is issued on behalf of representatives from Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, ACLU, ACLU of Ohio, and Preterm-Cleveland:

“Today’s ruling is a necessary step to protect abortion access in Ohio – for now. We’re grateful for this victory for patients and while we can enjoy this moment of relief, there is more work to be done to ensure that abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible to all Ohioans who need it. As the situation evolves, our patients will always remain our foremost concern. There is a history of aggressive enforcement against abortion providers in Ohio, and this ruling ensures that abortion providers are not vulnerable to severe sanctions, fines and penalties, including potential license revocation, during this interim period as we await final rules and regulations from the Ohio Department of Health. We’re in the middle of a once in a century pandemic, and instead of focusing on critical public health needs, Ohio politicians chose to attack abortion providers and patients with additional onerous and unnecessary restrictions. Abortion is essential healthcare and our primary focus remains on the health and safety of our patients.”

Read the court order.

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