Ohio Abortion Law Requiring Parental Consent Put on Hold Again

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 23, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Ohio Abortion Law Requiring Parental Consent Put on Hold Again Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 23, 2005

Cincinnati, OH (LifeNews.com) — An Ohio law scheduled to go into effect Thursday that would have required abortion businesses to obtain the consent of at least one parent before performing an abortion on a minor girl was put on hold again. A federal appeals court issued a temporary injunction so abortion advocates could appeal a district judge’s ruling saying the law is constitutional.

Abortion businesses have kept the law in state courts since the Ohio legislative approved it in 1998 and they’re now taking their case to federal courts.

U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith found the law constitutional but the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the temporary stay late Thursday after hearing a request from the ACLU, which filed suit on behalf of a Cincinnati abortion business that said the new law would force it to close.

State Solicitor Doug Cole told the Associated Press the appeals court’s ruling was simply to allow it more time to determine whether a stay is needed while the case proceeds.

"The 6th Circuit Court’s order today is not a stay that will remain in place throughout the appeal. Instead, it’s a stopgap measure to give the court more time to read our response tomorrow and then decide whether to grant a stay for the length of the appeal," Cole explained.

"We’re hopeful that when the court reads the brief we will file tomorrow, they will find it is not necessary or appropriate to extend this stay for the entire appeals process, so that our law could finally go into effect," Cole said.

Previously, Debi Jackson of Cincinnati Women’s Services said her abortion business would have to close as a result of the new law. There was no word on whether it would stop performing abortions during the appeal.

Pro-life groups say the new law is important and helps women and teens.

“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.

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 to reduce abortions further.