The following article was originally published on News5Cleveland.com and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content-sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets as it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.
The Hamilton County judge who issued an order temporarily blocking enforcement of Ohio’s six-week abortion ban last week plans to issue a second two-week block on the law, a representative for the Ohio Right to Life group confirmed to News 5 on Tuesday.
Once issued, the order would block the law for a full month from Sept. 14, allowing abortions through 20 weeks’ gestation, approximately 22 weeks after the last menstrual period, to continue, in keeping with state law in place before the ban. Prior to the block, abortions were illegal in Ohio after the fetus’s “heartbeat” can be detected, which conservatives say is usually between five or six weeks into the pregnancy. However, most doctors do not agree with this. The six-week mark is before the majority of people know they are pregnant.
Democratic Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins’ decision to grant the initial 14-day restraining order against the law came as part of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Ohio on behalf of abortion providers in the state. The clinics argue the law violates protections in the state Constitution guaranteeing individual liberty and equal protection. The suit also says the law is unconstitutionally vague.
“No great stretch is required to find that Ohio law recognizes a fundamental right to privacy, procreation, bodily integrity and freedom of choice in health care decision making,” Jenkins wrote.
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