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Federal court blocks Ohio's ban on dilation and evacuation abortions

Posted at 12:18 AM, Mar 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-22 00:18:46-04

COLUMBUS — A federal court on Thursday granted Planned Parenthood’s motion to temporarily block Ohio’s ban on the most common method of second-trimester abortion.

The restraining order will remain in place for 14 days unless extended by the United States District Court.

Dilation and evacuation abortions, commonly abbreviated D&E and described by opponents as “dismemberment abortions,” involve dilating the cervix and removing the contents of the uterus with surgical tools and suction.

According to Planned Parenthood’s suit, which was filed in February, D&E is the only outpatient method of second-trimester abortion available in Ohio. It contends the inpatient alternatives would be more expensive and medically riskier, placing an undue and unnecessary burden on women who wish to end their pregnancies.

Women seeking abortions in Ohio are required to receive an ultrasound and counseling 24 hours before the procedure, and abortion cannot be performed if Down syndrome numbers among the reasons the woman wishes to end her pregnancy.

All abortion becomes illegal at 20 weeks of pregnancy.