Abortion provider Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio filed litigation in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas on Friday to kill Senate Bill 23, the Ohio law banning abortion after the unborn child has a detectable heartbeat. 

Lawmakers passed and Republican Governor Mike DeWine signed that statute in 2019, though it only took effect this year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Although the high court refused to uphold that ruling’s stipulation that the federal Constitution bestows right to terminate a pregnancy – while mentioning neither pregnancy nor abortion – the abortion advocates argue that the Ohio Constitution, also silent on abortion, still grants that right.

“Since the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated the federal constitutional right to abortion, patients and providers across the country have been thrown into a world of chaos, fear, and confusion,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Alexis McGill Johnson said in a statement. “Ohio is no exception. We are seeing patients denied care and forced to travel to an increasingly shrinking number of clinics in neighboring states.”

Other parties to the lawsuit include Preterm-Cleveland, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center, Toledo Women’s Center and abortionist Sharon Liner.

Women’s Med is the latest of a number of abortion facilities that have stopped performing the procedure since the heartbeat law became effective in June. Their Dayton establishment instead began referring patients to the Women’s Med location in Indianapolis. 

“Ohio Right to Life is grateful that this notorious abortion facility will shut down for good,” Ohio Right to Life President Michael Gonidakis said in a statement. “An unimaginable number of babies have lost their lives there. No longer will the greater Dayton area be subjected to this great tragedy. There are countless life-affirming options for pregnant women to receive real health care, prenatal care, and various social services to ensure both her and her baby are healthy and safe.”

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Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Ohio Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ultrasound Appointment” by MART PRODUCTION.