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Courts and Crime

ACLU sues over strict anti-abortion measures in Ohio's budget
Clinics say the measures have little to do with the budget, and that makes them unconstitutional

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

The American Civil Liberties Union went to court today to try to block strict anti-abortion measures that Republican lawmakers included in the Ohio budget. 

The lawsuit says all three amendments violate a requirement in the Ohio Constitution that state laws – including the budget – can deal only with a single subject and can not include unrelated items.

Renee Paradis is a lawyer with the ACLU.  She says the constitution’s single-subject rule applies to riders added in the eleventh hour.

“Many of these provisions were added later in the process, they were added without open hearings -  you didn’t have testimony, often you didn’t have debate on these issues.”


LISTEN: Renee Paradis on ACLU lawsuit

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The budget amendments ban public hospitals from signing transfer agreements with abortion clinics – something the clinics cannot operate without. They also mandate that clinics use state language in talking to patients about fetal viability and heartbeats. And they direct state money to private groups that are not allowed to mention abortion services. 

The ACLU concedes the last issue does deal with money, but argues that it creates and funds a new government program, which would require a separate law.

The suit was filed on behalf of Preterm, a Cleveland clinic that provides birth control, pregnancy counseling, and abortion services.

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