Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 12:05 PM
The ACLU of Ohio has filed a lawsuit challenging three abortion-related amendments included in state's two year budget.
The ACLU of Ohio has filed a lawsuit challenging three abortion-related amendments included in state’s two year budget.
The suit charges that, in passing the measures, the Republican-led legislature violated the so-called single subject rule of the Ohio constitution.
Susan Scheutzow (SHITE - zoh) is an ACLU volunteer attorney. She filed the suit on behalf of Preterm, a non-profit health clinic in Cleveland that provides abortions.
She says the amendments are unrelated to the appropriation of funds to the state budget, and that they were snuck into the budget without adequate opportunity for debate.
SCHEITZOW: “At a very fundamental level this is a case about good government. These amendments were placed into the budget bill at the 11th hour without any opportunity for people to discuss this with their legislators and constituents had no opportunity to give input.”
One of the amendments bans public hospitals from making transfer agreements with abortion clinics - which the ACLU says is aimed at putting clinics out of business. Another requires doctors to perform an ultrasound at least 24 hours before performing an abortion and follow a government script when discussing medical options with patients.
And the third amendment created the Ohio parenting and pregnancy program, which Scheutzow says siphons state money to private organizations that give out information on pregnancy but are forbidden to discuss abortion.
The suit was filed this morning (Wednesday) in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Scheutzow says the ACLU is seeking an injunction blocking enforcement of the laws until the case is resolved, but that could take some time.
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