Ohio Supreme Court lets Ohio's 6-week abortion ban go into effect

The William McKinley Monument sits in front of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio.
The William McKinley Monument sits in front of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. | Public Domain/Hermon MacNeil.

The Ohio Supreme Court has refused a request from Planned Parenthood and abortion providers to block the state's law banning abortions after about six weeks of gestation, which went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade last Friday. 

The abortion organizations sought an emergency order to prevent the state from enforcing a law passed by Republicans in 2019 now that the nation's high court ruled the Constitution doesn't confer a right to an abortion. Following the ruling, a federal judge dissolved the injunction against the Ohio law. 

The petitioners argue the legislation "has now decimated abortion access in Ohio" because the law effectively bans abortions "before many women even know they are pregnant."

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"This is an incredibly horrible situation and we are deeply disturbed by the Ohio Supreme Court's decision to allow the draconian six-week ban to remain in effect as it considers the merits of our case," the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the abortion providers, said in a tweet

Aaron Baer, the president of the Ohio-based Center for Christian Virtue, praised the Ohio Supreme Court's decision.

"Their lawsuit reflected the delusional and dangerous world they live in. But thankfully, our State Supreme Court is operating in reality and has rejected Planned Parenthood's frivolous lawsuit," Baer said. "CCV is grateful for Attorney General Dave Yost and Solicitor General Ben Flowers' quick and incredible response to the abortion industry's desperate attempt to create a right to abortion out of thin air in the state Constitution."

The ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights have taken action in attempts to block abortion bans in 11 states — Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 20 states have "trigger laws" on the books which can go into effect and ban abortion in the absence of Roe. Missouri was the first one to ban abortion following the court's decision in the Dobbs ruling. 

Across the country, corporations and entities have announced that their health plans will cover the cost of travel for their employees in states that restrict abortion to travel out of state to seek an abortion. 

In Ohio, Cincinnati's City Council approved Mayor Aftab Pureval's plans for the city to cover the abortion travel costs for government employees.

Cincinnati's City Council voted to approve Pureval's legislation that repeals a 2001 city ordinance barring the city from covering elective abortions in its health plan. 

"Our Supreme Court, Congress and state legislature have failed us," Pureval said Monday when announcing the policy, according to WLWT. "Local officials must do whatever we can to protect the women of our communities." 

"It is not my job to make it easier for the state legislature and governor to drag women back to the 50's and strip their rights, it's my job to make that harder," he continued. "And with today's announcements, we are fighting back." 

The policy compensates workers seeking abortions or other procedures they cannot obtain within a 150-mile radius and is not covered by the city's health plan.

"The city's travel reimbursement policy will not only cover travel for abortion-related services," the mayor said. "This is about making sure our city employees have access to any eligible medical care that isn't available here, regardless of future statewide laws."

Pureval also called for reports to be provided on opportunities to decriminalize abortion and for law enforcement to direct resources toward protecting women and "medical care providers."

Dozens of major corporations like Nike, Apple, Amazon and Disney have stated their intentions to reimburse employees who need to travel for an abortion if they live in states that have restricted access, according to a list compiled by Reuters

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