Judge Temporarily Blocks Ohio ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban – By Cathy Burke (Newmax) / July 3 2019
A federal judge Wednesday temporarily blocked Ohio’s “fetal heartbeat” law that would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, CBS affiliate WTOL reported.
The statute, signed by GOP Gov. Mike DeWine on April 11 — which offered no exceptions to the ban and would have been one of the strictest in the nation — was set to take effect this month. But U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett issued a preliminary injunction.
Both the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood had challenged the Ohio statute.
“Today the Court has upheld the clear law: women in Ohio (and across the nation) have the constitutional right to make this deeply personal decision about their own bodies without interference from the State,” Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio, said in a statement.
The ruling stated Ohio’s law places an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion before the fetus is viable, violating Supreme Court precedent, The Hill reported.
Louisiana, Kentucky and Mississippi have passed similar “heartbeat” bills. Missouri’s governor signed a bill approving a ban on abortion at eight weeks, with exceptions only for medical emergencies. A new Alabama law bans virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest, and makes performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony.
None of the bans has taken effect. Some have already been blocked, and courts are expected to put the others on hold while legal challenges play out.
The bans are part of a strategy by anti-abortion activists to force the Supreme Court to revisit and potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark ruling that made abortion legal nationwide.