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Ohio Supreme Court rejects request to suspend state's six-week abortion ban

Gavel statue in a fountain outside Ohio Supreme Court building in Columbus
Daniel Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau

The Ohio Supreme Court has denied a request to suspend the state’s new six-week abortion ban just two days after a group of abortion providers filed the lawsuit.

In an unsigned decision, the Republican-dominated Ohio Supreme Court rejected the effort to stop the ban which went into effect last week following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The ACLU of Ohio, which represents the clinics that perform abortions, expressed its disappointment with the ruling on social media.

“This is an incredibly horrible situation and we are deeply disturbed by the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision to allow the draconian six-week ban to remain in effect as it considers the merits of our case,” the ACLU of Ohio wrote on Twitter.

Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, issued a statement which said his office will continue to defend Ohio's laws and "advocate for the rule of law."

He added, "The plaintiffs need to reconcile themselves to pursuing their policy goals through the political process, not the courts.”

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion, Yost requested a federal court to allow the state’s six-week abortion ban — which was put on hold due to court challenges — go into effect immediately. The federal court agreed to lift the stay on the law which was passed in 2019 before being suspended by the court.

Freda Levenson, ACLU of Ohio legal director, argued that the new abortion ban is a violation of the state constitution “which has broad protections for individual liberties.”

Levenson added, “Absent action from the court, many Ohioans will be forced to give birth against their will, many will have illegal or dangerous abortions, and some will die.”

Ohio Right to Life has said the ACLU of Ohio’s case does not belong in the Ohio Supreme Court but rather a common pleas court.

The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the subsequent abortion ban in Ohio has sparked protests around the state from abortion rights supporters who say women’s health will suffer because of the lack of comprehensive care created by the new ban.
Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.