COLUMBUS- The ACLU of Ohio announced today that it will file a lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 23, legislation that would ban all abortions in the State of Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine is expected to sign the bills in the coming days. The named plaintiff in the lawsuit will be Northeast Ohio based abortion care provider, Preterm-Cleveland. Additional plaintiffs will include Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, and the Women's Med Center of Dayton.
The ACLU will argue that the banning of abortion at six weeks, or with the detection of a fetal heartbeat, is a direct violation of the Constitution and a complete undermining of Roe v. Wade. Similar lawsuits have been filed against so-called "heartbeat bills" in four other states (Iowa, Kentucky, Arkansas, and North Dakota) and the courts have struck all of the abortion bans down as unconstitutional.
The following statement can be attributed to Freda Levenson, Legal Director at the ACLU Of Ohio:
"This legislation is blatantly unconstitutional and we will fight to the bitter end to ensure that this bill is permanently blocked. SB 23 is one of the most aggressive, oppressive, and radical attacks against women ever seen in this state and this country. A nearly identical bill in Kentucky was just struck down by a federal judge – we feel confident our impending litigation will ultimately prevail."
The following statement can be attributed to Chrisse France, Executive Director of Preterm-Cleveland:
"This law directly undermines the value of the individual lives of everyone in Ohio who has had an abortion or may need an abortion in the future, and we will continue to fight to secure their access to abortion care. Politicians make it nearly impossible for women and people in Ohio to make personal, healthy decisions about their pregnancies. People at the margins – young people, people of color, people in poverty, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and people of varying immigration status will always be the most impacted by this kind of legislation. Preterm is fighting this ban on behalf of and beside our patients, who are at the center of our work."
The following statement can be attributed to Elizabeth Watson of the ACLU:
"This ban adds to Ohio’s devastating track record of passing legislation designed to push abortion care out of reach. Anti-abortion politicians in states like Ohio, and other states trying to end abortion care, have no business interfering in people’s lives and health care," said Elizabeth Watson, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. "We will not stop fighting until everyone in Ohio can make their own personal decisions based on what is best for them."
Additional details about the impending lawsuit will be available soon.