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News

Abortion rights advocates ask the Ohio Supreme Court to block the six-week ban as unconstitutional

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Opponents of the state’s ban on abortion after six weeks that’s currently on hold while the Ohio Supreme Court considers it are filing a new amendment complaint in that case. And they’re asking to block the ban permanently.

Ohio Supreme Court
Ohio Supreme Court [Dan Konik | Statehouse News Bureau]
The action by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, Planned Parenthood and others comes after Issue 1, which enshrines abortion into the constitution, went into effect on Dec. 7.

“This is the debut of Issue 1. This is truly a historic day,” said Freda Levenson, the legal director with the ACLU of Ohio.

Levenson said voters have made it clear that they value reproductive freedom. The groups filing the complaint in the Preterm v. Yost case say the Ohio Constitution now plainly and precisely answers the question before the court. They’re asking for a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from enforcing the six-week ban while the case proceeds towards a final decision on the merits.

Attorney General Dave Yost, who opposed Issue 1, has argued that while it makes the six-week ban unconstitutional, the court should consider the other technical questions in the case.

The law which banned abortion at the point fetal cardiac electronic activity could be detected was in place for 82 days in 2022 before the case was filed against it in a Hamilton County court. Since that time, the ban has been on hold, and the Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments on the case in late September. The question on the case at the high court is a technical one rather than on the merits of the law itself. Levenson said this filing speaks directly to the constitutionality of the ban.

Republican Attorney General Dave Yost, who had opposed Issue 1, filed a brief last week arguing that while the six-week ban is now unconstitutional because of Issue 1, the case should continue, so the court can rule on the other questions involved: whether a preliminary injunction against a state law can be appealed and whether abortion providers have standing to file the lawsuit against the six-week ban.