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Could Texas abortion Supreme Court ruling affect Ohio law?

Posted at 5:45 PM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 17:45:12-04

A landmark decision to strike down a Texas abortion law could have legal implications for a similar law in Ohio. 

In a 5-3 decision on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Texas law that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgeries is unconstitutional. 

An Ohio law passed in 2013 is similar but not identical. It requires transfer agreements with a local hospital in case of an emergency. 

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio soon connected the decision to Ohio’s own law.  Executive Director Kellie Copeland released a statement Monday that read, in part: 

The Supreme Court sent a loud and clear message that politicians cannot use deceptive means to shut down abortion clinics. The legislators who created these undue burdens in Ohio should act immediately to remove them with House Bill 370, which would abolish Ohio’s medically unnecessary transfer agreement requirements.

Meanwhile Ohio Right to Life released a statement arguing that the laws are not alike: 

The Texas regulations are different from the regulations Ohio Right to Life advocated for in Ohio in 2013. Ohio’s law is a neutral regulation that requires all ambulatory surgical facilities to secure a transfer agreement with a local hospital.

Former Cuyahoga County Judge Ken Callahan reviewed the laws for newsnet5.com. 

He say there is room for a legal challenge but it will depend on whether Pro-Choice advocates can successfully argue that the Ohio law is similar enough to the Texas law. Pro-life advocates will likely make the opposite claim. 

“They’re going argue that transfer agreements such as existing Ohio statutory schemes are less restrictive and bear a direct relations to legitimate state purposes as oppose to the admitting privileges that were struck down in Texas,” Callahan explained. 

Susan B. Anthony List provided newnet5.com with the following statement, in part: 

The abortion industry cannot be trusted to regulate itself and they know it. That’s why they fought tooth and nail against common-sense health and safety standards and requirements for abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. We have documented page after page of incidents of abuse, negligence, and brutality since 2008. This decision means the filth and exploitation will continue unchecked.