Ohio Abortion Businesses File Suit to Overturn New Heartbeat Law Banning Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 29, 2022   |   11:07AM   |   Washington, DC

Ohio abortion business have filed suit in state court seeking to overturn the newly-minted heartbeat law that has begun saving babies from abortions following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

After the decision, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order directing the Ohio Department of Health to adopt emergency rules implementing Ohio’s Heartbeat Law. This Executive Order was in response to the federal court lifting the injunction on Ohio’s Heartbeat Law.  Attorney General Dave Yost filed a legal request to lift the injunction due to the United States Supreme Court ruling in the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization case.

This means abortions are now banned in Ohio starting at 6 weeks, when an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected.

But now Ohio abortion companies are challenging the law at the Ohio Supreme Court, asking for a temporary restraining order to block it. Read the lawsuit here.

Preterm-Cleveland, Planned Parenthood Greater Ohio and other abortion providers asked the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday to order the state to not enforce the six-week “heartbeat” ban.

Attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the law firm WilmerHale filed the suit.

In addition to Preterm and Planned Parenthood, plaintiffs include Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, Women’s Med Group Professional Corp. in Dayton, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center, Toledo Women’s Center and Dr. Sharon Liner, an individual abortion provider.

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The lawsuit specifically argues the Ohio Constitution’s due process rights under the Due Course of Law Clause protects women’s reproductive autonomy and bodily integrity. The heartbeat law discriminates against women, in violation of the Equal Protection and Benefit Clause, the lawsuit says.

In response to the suit, Center for Christian Virtue President Aaron Baer told LifeNews:

“The ACLU and Planned Parenthood are trying to create an abortion mandate in the Ohio Constitution out of thin air. To suggest our state Constitution requires that abortion clinics are able to destroy unborn life is foolish and dangerous.

“Abortion activists have comprised a deadly concoction of disjointed and unrelated phrases from the Ohio Constitution to justify their nonsensical actions. Center for Christian Virtue is grateful to have Attorney General Dave Yost serving the state to defend the law and defeat this harmful lawsuit.

“Over the last 20 years, no serious legal scholar—even pro-abortion legal scholars—have attempted to claim that abortion is mandated under the state Constitution. The truth is, the abortion industry has lost the debate amongst the voters, now they’re hoping for a bailout from the State Supreme Court. The Court must swiftly reject this case.”

Leading pro-life groups were elated by the news when the heartbeat law was enacted.

“The Heartbeat Law has been sitting on the sidelines in federal court which could have saved countless lives over the past several years. Starting right now no baby with a beating heart can be aborted in the state of Ohio,” said Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis. “We are grateful that our Attorney General Dave Yost acted swiftly and got the injunction lifted.”

Director of Communications Elizabeth Whitmarsh stated, “Many would have been lackadaisical on this, but because we elected strong pro-life leaders, thousands of lives are protected from abortion starting this very moment. Our Attorney General and Governor saw an opportunity to save lives and they immediately got it done. This is true leadership and should be a model for the how we move forward.”

Mark Harrington of Created Equal added: “Today is a historic day. Not only is Roe dead, but no longer can the beating hearts of humans too young to be born be violently torn apart by abortion in Ohio. The Heartbeat Law can now potentially save dozens of children from being killed by abortion each day. Ohio is on the way to completely ban abortion and protect every human life.”

Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th.

As LifeNews reported today, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.”

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority.

“The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. “That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.’”

Immediately after the decision, Texas abortion businesses announced they were closing and South Carolina announced it had asked a federal appeals court to uphold its abortion ban.

Ultimately, as many as 26 states could immediately or quickly ban abortions and protect babies from certain death for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The 13 total states with trigger laws that would effectively ban all or most abortions are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

Justices ruled to uphold Dobbs, which limits abortion to 15-weeks in Mississippi, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade and returning abortion law to the states.

“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

This is a landmark day for the Pro-Life movement and our entire nation. After staining the moral fabric of our country for nearly 50 years, Roe v. Wade is no more.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.