by Steven Ertelt
February 20, 2007
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — New Ohio Governor Ted Strickland won’t fight to save an Ohio law that protects women from the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug which has killed seven women in the United States and injured more than a thousand more. With little fanfare, Strickland quietly dropped a legal effort to salvage a law that puts safety limits on the drug.
The Ohio state legislature previously approved a bill to bring the use of the abortion pill in Ohio in line with Food and Drug Administration guidelines.
The law also tells abortion practitioners not to encourage women to use the abortion drug vaginally, which experts say could be partially responsible for why the RU 486 abortion drug has killed four women in California.
Abortion advocates took the law to court and a federal judge ruled against it. The battle shifted to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals but Strickland is pulling the state out of the fight.
"Because Gov. Strickland does not wish to seek reversal of the lower court’s order, he seeks to withdraw his appeal," Attorney General Marc Dann wrote in a brief filed with the appeals court, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Pro-life advocates condemned the governor’s decision for hurting women’s health and safety.
"I’m quite disappointed the governor is not going to pursue it," Denise Mackura, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, told the newspaper.
Despite Stricland’s decision, the case is not over as Dann or county prosecutors who would be responsible for enforcing the law could pursue the appeal further.
In the initial decision, Judge Susan Dlott ruled that the Ohio law is vague and claims it could put women’s health in jeopardy. She claimed the law is confusing and that abortion practitioners couldn’t be reasonably expected to understand and implement it.
Al Gerhardstein, an attorney for plaintiff Planned Parenthood who represented the abortion business in the lawsuit, called the law something "intended to scare doctors away from providing reproductive health care."
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists filed legal papers supporting the abortion businesses that brought the lawsuit saying that the abortion drug could sometimes be in the best interest of women, despite its numerous health problems.
The 6th Circuit upheld a previous ruling by Dlott preventing the law from being implemented and then sent the case back to her to determine haw far an injunction against it should extend. Dlott’s second ruling prohibited any enforcement of any part of the law during the appeal process.
The 6th Circuit also ruled that Ohio cannot put in place protections for women on the abortion drug unless it allows exceptions for those who may face a greater health risk having a surgical abortions.
Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati also supported the law and told LifeNews.com it would ensure that only doctors could prescribe the abortion drug.
The group said the law was important because it made sure abortion businesses followed FDA guidelines which include "a complete medical exam before prescribing RU-486, careful monitoring during the abortion process, and that any physician who provides RU-486 report any serious complications to the state medical board."
An abortion practitioner who violated the Ohio law protecting women could have received as much as an 18 month prison sentence.
The FDA is currently examining why so many women have died from using the abortion drug and has placed its highest black box warning on it.
ACTION: Send your complaints about the decision to Governor Ted Strickland, Riffe Center, 30th Floor, 77 South High Street, Columbus, OH 43215-6108. You can also call (614) 466-3555, fax a letter to (614) 466-9354 or email the governor by going to this web site: https://governor.ohio.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=101.