Judge to extend temporary pause on Ohio Heartbeat law
A Hamilton County judge blocked the Ohio Heartbeat law last Wednesday for 14 days but has now set the next hearing in the case for Oct. 7. Judge Christian Jenkins plans to extend his order at least through that hearing date, according to reporting from the Columbus Dispatch.
The order blocking the heartbeat law means healthcare providers can now provide abortions through 20 weeks’ gestation for the time being.
The move comes after pro-choice organizations and abortion clinics sought to dismiss their case in the Ohio Supreme Court and instead seek a temporary restraining order with a lower court in an effort to block the enforcement of the Heartbeat law as the case plays out. Jenkins granted the request for the TRO, writing in his decision that the heartbeat law was causing “irreparable harm” while in effect.
The lawsuit, brought by the ACLU of Ohio on behalf of abortion providers, argues the Heartbeat law violates the state constitution’s guarantees of individual liberty and equal protection. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost argued the plaintiffs don’t have standing to challenge the law because any supposed constitutional right to abortion would belong to individual patients, not their doctors or the plaintiff organizations.
Both parties will be back in court on Oct. 7 to argue whether the judge should grant a preliminary injunction on the heartbeat law.
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