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Ohio judge to extend order blocking abortion ban for another 2 weeks, sources say

Posted at 2:35 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 16:04:08-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Hamilton County judge who issued an order temporarily blocking enforcement of Ohio's six-week abortion ban last week plans to issue a second two-week block on the law, representatives for the Ohio Right to Life group and the Ohio ACLU confirmed to News 5 Tuesday.

Once issued, the order would block the law for a full month from Sept. 14, allowing abortions through 20 weeks' gestation, approximately 22 weeks after the last menstrual period, to continue, in keeping with state law in place before the ban. Prior to the block, abortions were illegal in Ohio after the fetus's “heartbeat” can be detected, which conservatives say is usually between five or six weeks into the pregnancy. However, most doctors do not agree with this. The six-week mark is before the majority of people know they are pregnant.

Democratic Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins' decision to grant the initial 14-day restraining order against the law came as part of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Ohio on behalf of abortion providers in the state. The clinics argue the law violates protections in the state Constitution guaranteeing individual liberty and equal protection. The suit also says the law is unconstitutionally vague.

"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.

Ohio Right to Life issued the following statement upon learning the judge extended the abortion law block by another two weeks:

“This is devastating news to hear that more innocent unborn lives will be violently ended in our state due to an unjust decision from an activist judge. However, we have full confidence that Ohio’s leaders will ultimately uphold justice and the right to life for all human beings, no matter their size or age. This is only a temporary setback and despite the cries from the anti-life organizations, Ohio will be abortion free by the end of 2022.”

Elizabeth Whitmarsh, Director of Communications

RELATED: Judge temporarily blocks Ohio law banning most abortions after six weeks

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