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Court puts one Ohio abortion law on hold while lawmakers unveil another bill to limit the procedure

 Supporters of legal abortion at Ohio Statehouse
Sam Aberle
Ohio Public Radio
Abortion supporters gather outside the Ohio Statehouse in 2019 to rally against the anti-abortion laws in the state. A new state law that makes it more difficult for abortion clinics to operate is now on hold after a Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas decision Wednesday.

The Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas put on hold Wednesday a new state lawthat makes it harder for abortion clinics to get licenses to operate. The law wasn't supposed to go into effect until later this month, but attorneys for two Southwest Ohio abortion clinics say the Ohio Department of Health was using it early to try to deny a Dayton area abortion clinic the variance it needs to operate under current law.

 abortion opponents (front row) and abortion rights supporters (dressed as Handsmaids in back) listen to testimony on an abortion bill in a committee at the Ohio Legislature
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
Abortion opponents (front row) and abortion rights supporters (dressed as Handsmaids in back) listen to testimony on an abortion bill in a committee at the Ohio Legislature

Meanwhile, Ohio Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City), who is also a medical doctor, has introduceda billthat would make it harder for Ohioans to get a medication-induced abortion. It is meant to stop abortion providers from diagnosing patients and issuing abortion-inducing pills over the phone then sending them through the mail. Huffman's bill is supported by Ohio Right to Life.

"Ohio law needs to be updated to ensure that women receive proper medical care rather than abandoning them to dangerous and unsupervised at-home abortions," said Mary Parker, director of legislative affairs for the Ohio Right to Life.

Kellie Copeland with Pro-Choice Ohio says the state legislature has been passing legislation that isn’t constitutional, and the legislature has been on a campaign against abortion in general. “To spread misinformation about the safety of abortion, about the qualifications of abortion providers, and to really try to dissuade people from accessing the abortion care they need,” Copeland said. She points to a new bill to make it harder for women to get abortions induced by medication, which she says is the most common and safest method.

The Ohio Legislature is considering other bills that would ban or limit abortion including one (SB123) that would make abortion illegal in Ohio immediately if the U.S. Supreme Court rules states have that power. There's another bill (HB480) fashioned after a Texas law that would allow “any person” to file civil lawsuits against anyone in Ohio who performs abortions or helps someone get an abortion. Neither bill has had a hearing yet in this General Assembly.
Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.