Ohio AG Mike DeWine Files Appeal to Protect Pro-life Laws

Abortion Facility Challenges Funding for Pregnancy Centers

Editor’s note. The following is excerpted from a release from Ohio Right to Life, NRLC’s state affiliate.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

COLUMBUS, Ohio—On Monday, Attorney General Mike DeWine filed an appeal in the Ohio Supreme Court in the case of Preterm v. Kasich, defending several pro-life initiatives in the 2013-2014 budget bill.

Those provisions include the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program, which provides funding for pregnancy centers; statutes requiring ambulatory surgical facilities to have written transfer agreements; and a ban on taxpayer-funded hospitals signing such agreements with abortion facilities.

“The abortion industry’s baseless challenge of common-sense pro-life initiatives demonstrates how extreme they really are,” said Devin Scribner, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. “Not only have they rejected an important expansion of informed consent for abortion-vulnerable women, they are also retaliating against funding for pregnancy centers—critical community staples that empower women and assist them with emotional and material support long after the birth of their babies. On its face, their rejection of both of these provisions is a rejection of choice and information for women.”

Preterm, Cleveland’s largest abortion facility, challenged the provisions in 2013. The trial court granted summary of judgment to the state because the facility lacked standing and was not injured by any of the provisions. The Eighth Appellate District Court reversed the decision in a fractured 2-1 ruling.

Attorney General DeWine argues that the appellate court’s broadened definition of standing undermines “the most important check on the judiciary under the Constitution’s separation of powers.” Preterm admitted that it was not injured by funding for pregnancy centers, and the Attorney General demonstrates that neither of the transfer agreement laws injures the facility because it has had a transfer agreement with a private hospital for 10 years.

“On behalf of our board, our affiliates, and our statewide membership, Ohio Right to Life thanks Attorney General Mike DeWine for defending common sense pro-life measures,” said Scribner. “Thanks to the Attorney General’s work, Ohioans can see right through the abortion industry’s phony attempt to play the victim. Perhaps by the end of this, all will see that the real victims in the abortion debate are the one million children who are aborted each year in the name of ‘choice.'”

Preterm is located in Cuyahoga County where 8,548 abortions were recorded in 2014. That accounts for 40 percent of abortions performed in the state, the largest share of the 21,186 abortions performed in Ohio that year.