Following last month’s election victory in Ohio, abortion rights groups amend previous lawsuit to enshrine abortion access in state constitution
CINCINNATI, OH — Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio, and the law firm WilmerHale filed an amended complaint in their lawsuit challenging the six-week abortion ban, in light of Issue 1’s passage. The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety Amendment enshrines the explicit right to abortion care in the Ohio Constitution. The amendment took effect on December 7, thirty days after voters approved the initiative. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Preterm-Cleveland, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center, and Toledo Women’s Center.
The case, Preterm v. Yost, was originally filed in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas on September 2, 2022, and enforcement of the ban has been blocked since September 14, 2022. The ban, which had been in effect for nearly three months following the reversal of Roe v. Wade, subjected many Ohioans to needless suffering, forcing them to wait for their health to worsen or travel out of state to receive the care they needed.
Statement from leaders with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Ohio, Preterm-Cleveland, Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center, and Toledo Women’s Center:
“Today’s filing marks a pivotal moment in our long challenge to the unlawful and extreme six-week abortion ban. The Ohio Constitution now plainly and precisely answers the question before the court — whether the six-week ban is unconstitutional — in the affirmative. The citizens of our state have made it crystal clear that Ohioans have the right to make their own personal medical decisions regarding reproductive freedom, including abortion, and that abortion bans will not be tolerated. The Ohio Constitution is the highest law in our state and this amendment prevents anti-abortion politicians from passing laws to deny our bodily autonomy and interfere in our private medical decisions.”
The plaintiffs ask the court to keep the preliminary injunction in place until it issues a permanent injunction, preventing Ohio officials from enforcing the six-week ban while the case proceeds towards a final decision on the merits.
A copy of the amended complaint can be found here.