Ohio Parental Consent Ruling Already Stopping Abortions, Law Delayed

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 11, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Ohio Parental Consent Ruling Already Stopping Abortions, Law Delayed Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 11, 2005

Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — A federal court ruling upholding an Ohio law requiring abortion businesses to obtain consent of a parent before performing an abortion on a minor girl has already stopped some abortions. Women who arrived at abortion centers across the state are finding their scheduled abortions canceled or postponed in favor of meetings with staff to explain to them the ramifications of the new law.

However, the same judge who found the law constitutional agreed to a request from an attorney representing a Cincinnati abortion business to delay the start of the new consent law until September 22.

The attorney said it would give abortion businesses time to implement the new law and U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith agreed to the delay.

The law not only requires teens to get parental approval for an abortion, but it allows women considering an abortion to receive information 24 hours ahead of time about its risks and alternatives. Similar laws in other states have been responsible for significantly reducing the number of abortions.

“The portion [of the law] dealing with in-person meetings with a physician 24 hours before the procedure will give a woman more information with which to make a decision,” Mark Lally, legislative director for Ohio Right to Life, told the Toledo Blade.

“Being able to ask questions, rather than get a prerecorded message over the phone, brings the process of informed consent more in line with the standard informed consent in place for other medical procedures,” he said.

“We believe that the more information with which to make a decision before actually being in the room to have the abortion, the greater the chance she might decide to pursue other options,” he said.

Kellie Copeland, executive director of the Ohio NARAL affiliate told the Toledo newspaper that women had to be turned away from scheduled abortions until Judge Beckwith issued the delay.

Abortions in Ohio declined 15 percent from 41,673 to 35,319 from 1993-2003, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Pro-life lawmakers approved the new law seven years ago to see that number decrease further.

Next week, abortion advocates will decide whether to appear Judge Beckwith’s decision upholding the law to 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They may also request the appeals court to stop the law from going into effect while the years-long legal battle continues.