A law protecting preborn children in Ohio from abortion after detectable heartbeat has again been blocked by a judge. As lawsuits continue, Judge Christian Jenkins has put in place an indefinite injunction against the law.
Last month, the law was blocked on a temporary basis. Jenkins put the original injunction into place for two weeks, with it scheduled to be lifted on September 28. It was then extended for another two weeks, only for Jenkins to place the law on hold indefinitely.
Under S.B. 23, preborn children who have a heartbeat — which can typically be detected at about six weeks gestation — are protected from abortion. Jenkins agreed with the arguments made by the abortion industry, writing, “Abortion is safe health care to which Ohioans have a right.”
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With the law being continually blocked, preborn children can continue to be aborted through 22 weeks gestation, according to a press release celebrating the ruling from the ACLU. The release included a joint statement from Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, the ACLU, ACLU of Ohio, Preterm-Cleveland, Women’s Med Group, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center, Toledo Women’s Center, and Dr. Sharon Liner.
“We are thrilled with this second major victory and relieved that patients in Ohio can continue to access abortion as we work to fight this unjust and dangerous ban in court. The preliminary injunction will be in place for the duration of our case, which means abortions will be legal in Ohio for a period much, much longer than the temporary restraining order granted. This court ruling will provide significant relief to Ohio patients and clinics,” a joint statement read.
“We’ve already had a glimpse of the harm caused by Senate Bill 23 when it was in effect this summer, and we can’t go back. Ohioans deserve far better than the chaos and confusion that we’ve seen since the U.S. Supreme Court stripped us of our federal constitutional right to an abortion,” they added. “We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to fight for and protect Ohioans’ rights as guaranteed by the Ohio Constitution. We will now work to secure a permanent injunction.”
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has not yet indicated if the state will appeal the ruling. “We will wait and review the judge’s actual written order and consult with the Governor’s administration as far next steps,” a spokesperson said.
Ohio Right to Life President Michael Gonidakis, meanwhile, said that while they were saddened by the decision, they were not surprised.
“The abortion clinics literally forum shopped to get the outcome they wanted,” he said. This is a moment in time for the pro-life movement and we are convinced that the Ohio Supreme Court will overturn this ruling. Nowhere in Ohio’s Constitution does a right to an abortion exist.”