COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today, an Ohio judge granted a second preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of Senate Bill 27, a law that requires embryonic and fetal tissue from procedural abortions be cremated or interred. The decision grants relief requested by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the ACLU of Ohio, representing reproductive health care providers. In addition to imposing burdensome disposal requirements that would delay or prevent patients from getting procedural abortions, the regulation would also further stigmatize abortion, shame patients, and criminalize providers.
Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Alison Hatheway found that the law violates Plaintiffs’ and their patients’ rights to due process and equal protection.
Hatheway first blocked enforcement of the requirement — signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine in December 2020 — in April of last year, following an initial request for relief from the reproductive rights groups. The judge found then that compliance would be impossible because the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) failed to provide the rules and forms required by the law, and the judge therefore gave providers until February 8, 2022 to come into compliance. Today’s ruling will provide continuing relief for the state’s abortion providers until final judgment is entered in the case.
The following statement is issued on behalf of representatives from Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, ACLU, ACLU of Ohio, Women’s Med Center Dayton, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center and Preterm-Cleveland:
"Today’s ruling reaffirms what we already know to be true: aggressive and cruel regulations like SB27 serve no other purpose than to impose severe burdens on abortion patients and providers, and to shame and stigmatize patients seeking essential health care. Compliance with this law would have a devastating impact on the ability of Ohioans to access time-sensitive health care, and intentionally denies them autonomy over their own lives, especially harming people with low-incomes, our Black, Latino and Indigenous communities, and people in rural communities. While we are grateful for today’s decision, safe, accessible abortion care is still in jeopardy across the state and the nation. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure Ohioans have the freedom to make their own decisions about their bodies, their families, and their futures."
The lawsuit was filed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the ACLU, the ACLU of Ohio, and Fanon A. Rucker of the Cochran Firm-OH on behalf of the five reproductive health care providers that provide procedural abortions in Ohio.
The ruling is available below.