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Judge temporarily blocks Ohio law banning most abortions: NPR

Protesters gather at the Ohio Capitol in Columbus in support of abortion rights after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022. A judge temporarily blocked Ohio’s ban on virtually all abortions on Wednesday, again halting a law that took effect after federal protections against abortion were struck down by the Supreme Court in June.

Barbara J. Perenic/The Columbus Dispatch via AP


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Barbara J. Perenic/The Columbus Dispatch via AP


Protesters gather at the Ohio Capitol in Columbus in support of abortion rights after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022. A judge temporarily blocked Ohio’s ban on virtually all abortions on Wednesday, again halting a law that took effect after federal protections against abortion were struck down by the Supreme Court in June.

Barbara J. Perenic/The Columbus Dispatch via AP

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A judge temporarily blocked Ohio’s ban on virtually all abortions on Wednesday, again halting a law that took effect after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down federal protections against abortion in June.

The decision means that abortions up to 20 weeks gestation can continue for now, consistent with state law in place before the ban.

Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins’ decision to grant a 14-day restraining order against the law came as part of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Ohio on behalf of abortion providers in the state. The clinics argue that the law violates protections in the state constitution that guarantee individual liberty and equal protection. The lawsuit also says the law is unconstitutionally vague.

The law was signed by the Republican governor. Mike DeWine in April 2019 and bans most abortions after the first detectable “fetal heartbeat.” Heart activity can be detected as early as six weeks of pregnancy, before many people know they are pregnant. The law had been blocked by a legal challenge, then went into effect after the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade’s decision was reversed.

DeWine’s opponent in the November election, Democrat and abortion-rights advocate Nan Whaley, called Wednesday’s ruling “a victory, albeit a temporary one, for the women of Ohio.” She said, “Ohio women won’t be safe until we have a pro-choice governor who doesn’t seek to impose extreme views like government mandates against private health care decisions.”

Abortion providers and their advocates have said the law has already created a number of difficulties, including forcing a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio to travel to Indiana for an abortion.

The judge’s decision is a blow to abortion opponents, who have been celebrating the implementation of long-delayed restrictions since Roe was struck down.

Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati anticipated the judge leaning toward a pause after a hearing last week, when he asked questions about the 10-year-old’s case and suggested, “We should be very honest about what we’re talking about.” here.”

“Let’s be very honest,” the anti-abortion group wrote in a statement, “it’s always, always better when you choose LIFE. Always.”

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