Ohio judge again blocks abortion law that threatened clinics


The Associated Press



COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A judge has blocked early enforcement of an Ohio abortion law signed in December that included additional licensing requirements challenged by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood as unnecessarily onerous.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Alison Hatheway’s ruling Friday blocked restrictions imposed on two southwest Ohio clinics by the Ohio Department of Health that came before June 21. That date ends a 90-period for compliance that followed its original effective date of March 23.

Hatheway issued a temporary restraining order against the law March 2, before it could take effect.

The stated goal of the bill was to impose criminal penalties on doctors who fail to give medical care in the extremely rare circumstance when a baby is born alive following an abortion attempt. However, provisions were added to the legislation that prevented abortion providers from contracting with backup physicians who teach at or contract with public medical schools.

Abortion rights groups said eliminating such a broad swath of physicians to serve as their back-ups could lead to two clinics in southwest Ohio being closed. The lawsuit argued the requirements would almost certainly have shuttered Women’s Med in Dayton and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio in suburban Cincinnati.

Both facilities operate under state variances that include partnerships with several doctors, some with known ties to Wright State University’s medical school.

The Associated Press