Court Refuses to Overrule Ruling that Stops Ohio from Closing Abortion Clinics

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A panel of three federal court judges won’t get involved in a dispute over abortion and the state’s coronavirus order regarding elective surgery – which keeps facilities that perform abortions open for now.

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed the state’s request to appeal a federal judge’s ruling preventing it from closing the six Ohio clinics that perform surgical abortions – two of the three judges wrote they didn’t have jurisdiction.

Attorney General Dave Yost had sent the clinics a letter saying they must close under the state’s coronavirus order banning elective surgeries. Yost says the state’s hospitals need the personal protective equipment the clinics use in those procedures.

But the attorney for the clinics, Jessie Hill, says the facilities are providing an essential service allowed under the order and adds patients are encouraged to get medication induced abortions over surgical ones when possible.

In a written statement, Ohio Right to Life thanked Yost for taking legal action to try to close the clinics.