Ohio judge indefinitely blocks heartbeat law from taking effect

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. After we first posted this story, Dave Yost, the attorney general, wrote that the state of Ohio had “filed its notice of appeal of the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court’s preliminary injunction of the Heartbeat bill.”

On Friday Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Christian Jenkins continued his pattern of blocking S.B.23 , Ohio’s Heartbeat law, which would protect unborn children who have a detectable heartbeat, typically beginning around six weeks. With Jenkins’ preliminary injunction, they will continue to be aborted through 22 weeks gestation. 

Ohio Right to Life President Michael Gonidakis “said that while they were saddened by the decision, they were not surprised.

The abortion clinics literally forum shopped to get the outcome they wanted. This is a moment in time for the pro-life movement and we are convinced that the Ohio Supreme Court will overturn this ruling. Nowhere in Ohio’s Constitution does a right to an abortion exist.”

Jenkins issued the preliminary injunction from the bench after a daylong hearing. The Associated Press’ Julie Carr Smyth wrote

“In impassioned remarks announcing his decision, Jenkins knocked the state’s arguments that the Ohio Constitution doesn’t ever mention abortion and so doesn’t protect the right to one. He said a right doesn’t have to be named to be protected. 

“This court has no difficulty holding that the Ohio Constitution confers a fundamental right on all of Ohioans to privacy, procreation, bodily integrity and freedom of choice in health care decision-making that encompasses the right to abortion,” 

A group of abortion clinics represented by the ACLU of Ohio “challenged the state law banning most abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected on grounds it violates provisions of the state constitution guaranteeing individual liberty and equal protection. It also says the law is unconstitutionally vague,” according to Smyth.

“On Sept. 15, Jenkins, a Democrat, temporarily blocked Ohio’s six-week abortion ban for 14 days, the maximum length of time allowed,” Balmert wrote. “The temporary restraining order can be extended once for a maximum of 14 days.”

Attorney General Dave Yost “is expected to appeal,” Jessie Balmert wrote. “The case would go to the First District Court of Appeals first before going to the Ohio Supreme Court.”