An Ohio judge temporarily suspended the state’s six-week abortion ban on Wednesday that went into effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins issued the temporary restraining order that will last 14 days as abortion rights advocates seek to stop the law.
“No great stretch is required to find that Ohio law recognizes a fundamental right to privacy, procreation, bodily integrity and freedom of choice in health care decision making,” Jenkins wrote.
The ruling stated that abortion is a form of health care, noting that the law violates the state’s constitution prohibiting laws penalizing the sale or purchase of health care. Jenkins further wrote that the law discriminates against pregnant women.
The case was brought against the state by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), its Ohio-based ACLU of Ohio, Planned Parenthood, and law firm WilmerHale.
“We’re grateful that, for now, Ohioans can once again widely access abortion care in their own state. But this is just the first step. We have already seen the devastating impact Senate Bill 23 has had on people seeking abortions in Ohio,” the groups said in a statement following the ruling.
“State lawmakers will stop at nothing to try again to permanently restrict our reproductive rights; their cruelty knows no bounds. We remain intensely committed to defending against any and all attempts to limit Ohioans’ constitutional right to access the full range of reproductive health care in their home state,” the statement added.
The Ohio law was signed by Governor Mike DeWine (R-OH) in 2019, banning abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat that generally occurs at approximately six weeks. The law had been blocked until the decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case.
Under the temporary restraining order, abortion is currently legal in the state up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, effective immediately.
The state’s law drew nationwide attention after the news of a 10-year-old girl who was more than six weeks pregnant was denied an abortion after it went into effect. The girl reportedly traveled across state lines for an abortion procedure.
The Daily Wire reported in July that the illegal immigrant who was arrested and accused of raping the 10-year-old girl was later indicted. Gerson Fuentes, 27, was indicted by a grand jury in Franklin County, Ohio, on two counts of felony rape.
On Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a federal bill to ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks. The new proposal offers exceptions for rape, incest, and the protection of the life of a mother during pregnancy. The bill also prohibits the prosecution of women who seek abortions.
“I can assure that a vast majority of Americans do not support abortion on demand up to delivery,” Graham said during the press conference regarding the bill.