© Reuters FILE PHOTO: Protesters pray outside a Planned Parenthood in Columbus, Ohio, U.S., November 12, 2021, as the state considers restrictive abortion laws. REUTERS/Galen Morse
By Brendan Pearson
(Reuters) – An Ohio judge on Wednesday temporarily suspended the state’s Republican-led abortion ban for six weeks following legal challenges from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
Judge Christian Jenkins of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas in Cincinnati affirmed that the state constitution includes the right to abortion. Jenkins’ emergency order expires in two weeks, but the plaintiffs have asked the judge for another order that would suspend the law pending the lawsuit.
In a joint statement, the plaintiffs said, “We are grateful that Ohioans now have access to abortion care in their own state.”
The office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who is defending the law, is reviewing the decision and will consult with Republican Gov. Mike DeWine on next steps, Yost spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle said.
Ohio In 2019, it passed a law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks, except to prevent death or serious injury to the mother, but only in cases of rape or consanguineous intercourse.
The Supreme Court of the United States After overturning the 1973 ruling that granted abortion rights nationwide in Roe v. Wade, the state Supreme Court allowed the law to go into effect in July. Ohio’s law drew national attention later that month when a 10-year-old rape victim was forced to travel to Indiana for an abortion.
In their Sept. 2 lawsuit, Planned Parenthood and other providers argued that the state constitution still protects the right to an abortion.
Jenkins agreed, in part, to a 2011 state constitutional amendment to protect “health care freedom” proposed by opponents of the federal Affordable Care Act, which would ban laws prohibiting the sale or purchase of health care.
The judge said that despite the premise, the amendment “directly recognizes the fundamental nature of the right to liberty in health care decisions.”