by Steven Ertelt
October 4, 2005
Cincinnati, OH (LifeNews.com) — A federal appeals court has ruled that parts of an Ohio abortion law can go into effect while a lawsuit filed by abortion businesses to stop it continues. One abortion facility in Cincinnati says the law would force it to go out of business.
Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro, in a statement about the decision, said, “This is a victory for the unborn, but the fight is not over."
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said all but one provision of the law could go into effect at 5 p.m. on October 10 and remain in force during the hearing on the appeal.
Alphonse Gerhardstein, the attorney representing the abortion business, told the Associated Press he was disappointed by the decision. He also indicated he may ask the appellate court to reconsider its order.
"It’s good that they are not allowing one part to be implemented, but we will continue our appeal and hope that the court eventually will hold all of the law unconstitutional,” he said.
Provisions which can go into effect include allowing women to get information about abortion’s risks and alternatives in person 24 hours ahead of an abortion and requiring abortion facilities to obtain the consent of at least one parents prior to performing an abortion on a minor girl.
The appeals court said that Cincinnati Women’s Services, the abortion business suing to overturn the law and saying it would be forced to close, would not likely prevail in hearings on its lawsuit.
The one section of the law the appeals court said could not be enforced regards minors seeking a judicial bypass more than once for an abortion without parental consent.
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 the suit.
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.