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Gabrielle M. Etzel, Healthcare Reporter


NextImg:Ohio Supreme Court blocks state's abortion ban

The Ohio Supreme Court dismissed the state's challenge to a judge's order that has blocked the Buckeye State's six-week abortion ban, which has been on hold for the past 14 months.

The ruling transfers the action in the case back to the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, where abortion clinics this week asked Judge Christian Jenkins to strike down the law in the wake of the passage of the state's abortion rights amendment.

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The state Supreme Court on Friday said the appeal was dismissed because of "a change in the law," referencing the constitutional amendment protecting reproductive rights.

The law was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) in 2019 and prohibited most abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, typically observable via ultrasound by six weeks gestation.

The controversial measure briefly went into effect after the United States Supreme Court overturned federal constitutional protections for abortion rights in 2022 with the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling. The law, however, was quickly blocked by a county judge.

The justices agreed in March to review the county judge's order that blocked the enforcement of the so-called heartbeat bill and to consider whether clinicians had standing to challenge the law. On Friday, the high court denied Attorney General Dave Yost's request to launch an independent review of the constitutional right to abortion.

Abortion providers in the state asked the lower court that originally thwarted the ban to permanently strike it down, citing Yost's legal analysis that the state's abortion rights amendment would invalidate the six-week ban on abortion.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

The heartbeat bill motivated many Ohioans to vote in favor of the sweeping abortion rights amendment that gives physicians and women the power to terminate a pregnancy after viability if deemed appropriate by a woman's medical care provider.

Abortion rights advocates say that the amendment far supersedes the status quo prior to 2022 under the Roe v. Wade legal framework.