by Steven Ertelt
November 14, 2006
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — A three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals mostly upheld Ohio’s law requiring abortion practitioners to make sure they tell women about abortion’s risks and alternatives and allowing parents to prohibit their minor daughters from getting an abortion.
The case involves a 1998 law which had been upheld by U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith in September 2005.
The appeals court upheld the law’s requirement that abortion facilities couldn’t provide women the information on abortion’s risks and alternatives through a video or over the telephone. Instead, the woman considering the abortion must meet with an abortion practitioner 24 hours beforehand and get the information in person.
It said the in-person requirement wasn’t an undue burden on women considering an abortion.
“The in-person meeting with a physician upheld by this decision protects the dignity of women, instead of treating them like products on an assembly line,” Denise Mackura, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, told LifeNews.com.
But Al Gerhardstein, the lawyer for the Cincinnati Women’s Services Inc., an abortion facility that is now closed, called it an "unfortunate for women and a setback for reproductive health."
While the court upheld the parental consent law, it ruled that one provision of the statute that prevented a minor from filing a second bypass request after a first request had been denied was unconstitutional.
It reversed Beckwith’s ruling saying the limits on a second bypass request don’t present an undue burden on teenagers seeking abortions.
The Supreme Court has mandated that parental notification or consent laws contain a judicial bypass provision to protect teenagers who come from abusive home situations.
The appeals court ruled that the second bypass provision could be severed from the parental consent law as a whole and that the remainder of the law was constitutional.
"We are pleased that the key parts of Ohio’s parental consent statute will remain in effect since that law increases the likelihood that parents will have meaningful involvement in a decision that can have enormous impact on their daughter’s life,” Mackura told LifeNews.com.
Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro agreed, telling AP, "We are pleased the courts upheld the most important provisions of this very reasonable law."
Gerhardstein did not say if he would file an appeal of Monday’s decision with the Supreme Court.
Ohio lawmakers approved the measure in 1998 and it has been tied up in courts ever since thanks to pro-abortion lawsuits.
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.
Related web sites:
Ohio Right to Life – https://www.ohiolife.org