CINCINNATI, OHIO – Today, an Ohio judge granted a preliminary injunction blocking the premature enforcement of Senate Bill 157, a law that would allow the Department of Health to revoke ambulatory surgical licenses and threatens to shut down procedural abortion services in Southwest Ohio. The decision grants relief requested by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Ohio, and Fanon A. Rucker of the Cochran Firm-OH representing reproductive health care providers, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, and Women’s Med Dayton.
Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Alison Hatheway found that the premature enforcement of the law before its effective date violates Plaintiff Women’s Med Dayton’s due process rights.
The legal challenge, filed February 25, sought a temporary restraining order, which was granted on March 2, followed by a request for a preliminary injunction to provide immediate relief to Women’s Med Dayton. SB 157 was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine on Dec. 22, 2021, and did not take effect until March 23, 2022; however, under the terms of the law, WMD should have had an additional 90 days, until June 21, 2022 to show compliance. Despite these dates, the law was already being enforced against Women’s Med Dayton.
The following statement is issued on behalf of representatives from Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, ACLU, ACLU of Ohio, and Women’s Med Dayton:
“The state's disregard of foundational due process principles shows just how far it will go to attempt to eliminate access to abortion. Today’s ruling is a win for providers and patients, but our fight to protect abortion access in Southwest Ohio and the entire state is far from over. We are as dedicated as ever to protecting Ohioans’ freedom to make their own decisions about their bodies, their families, and their futures—without political interference.”
SB 157 will make it even more difficult, if not impossible, for abortion clinics to comply with the already onerous requirements to maintain their ambulatory surgical license. Under this new law, abortion clinics would no longer be able to contract with backup physicians who teach or provide instruction, directly or indirectly, at a medical school or osteopathic medical school affiliated with a state university or college, or are employed by or compensated pursuant to a contract with, and provide instruction or consultation to, a medical school or osteopathic medical school affiliated with a state university or college.
This litigation is one in a series of lawsuits filed by the ACLU, ACLU of Ohio, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America challenging Ohio’s arbitrary, unnecessary, and onerous restrictions to safe and accessible abortion care for Ohioans.