Reproductive Freedom Press Release

01.30.19

ACLU of Ohio Argues Abortion Rights Case Before Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Law Would Interfere in a Woman’s Personal Health Decisions
Woman Waiting

CINCINNATI — Today, the ACLU of Ohio asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a March 2018 preliminary injunction against an unconstitutional abortion ban. The law criminalizes abortion when one of the woman’s reasons for the abortion is a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

The ban, first signed into law by Governor John Kasich in December 2017, is part of a national strategy to push abortion out of reach. Since January 2011, state politicians have enacted more than 401 abortion restrictions on abortion that force patients to delay care, shut down clinics, and make abortion care unaffordable and unobtainable.

Jessie Hill, cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Ohio, made the following statement after the argument:

“This abortion ban undermines the relationship between a woman and her doctor by interfering in personal, confidential conversations. This law does nothing to actually support people with disabilities. In fact, the state’s appeal is the latest indication that Ohio anti-abortion politicians will stop at nothing to defend medically unnecessary restrictions designed to push abortion care out of reach.”

Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, offered the following statement after the argument:

“Politicians in states across the country continue to play divisive political games with a woman’s decision to have an abortion, and we won’t stand for it in Ohio or anywhere else. Ohio women and their families should have all the accurate information and resources they need to make decisions that are best for them, including the decision to end a pregnancy, and the resources and support to raise their children with dignity.”

Emily Chestnut, a Cincinnati mom whose daughter has Down syndrome, also offered the following statement:

“When they signed this bill, state legislators used my child as a political tool to promote their own agenda. This bill is not about protecting our children or making their lives better. This bill is about putting another hurdle in front of women who have a constitutional right to make their own decisions about their bodies and their futures.”

The complaint was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Planned Parenthood and the Gerhardstein & Branch law firm on behalf of Preterm Cleveland and a number of other abortion providers in Ohio, including Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, and the Women’s Medical Group Professional Corporation.

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More information about this case.