Ohio appeals court upholds block on 'heartbeat' abortion ban; sends case to trial court

Posted at 2:30 PM, Dec 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-19 15:39:16-05

CINCINNATI — The block on Ohio's state law that largely bans abortions will stand, according to a Friday appeals court decision.

The ruling also sends the case down to lower, trial court to continue.

The appeals court decision is upholding a Hamilton County judge's October decision to extend the block on the law, which placed the law on hold indefinitely through a preliminary injunction. That injunction allows abortion in Ohio up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.

Ohio's "Heartbeat Law" bans doctors from conducting abortions once a heartbeat is detected, and originally went into effect in June 2022 after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade on June 24, 2022, which dismantled the 50 years of abortion rights protection. The Heartbeat Law had been stalled prior to Roe v Wade's overturning, but was imposed within days of the Supreme Court's decision.

Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins originally blocked the law in September for two weeks, and then the judge extended that block another two weeks.

At the end of September, Jenkins extended that block a third time before October's preliminary injunction.

In the October ruling, Jenkins said there is no dispute that abortion is a medical procedure and is health care.

After Jenkins' preliminary injunction, Attorney General Dave Yost appealed, but the 1st District Court of Appeals unanimously voted 3-0 Friday to not consider his appeal.

In appeals court, the plaintiffs, including the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, successfully argued that appeals can only review final orders, not preliminary injunctions that are simply maintaining the status quo.

"We are pleased that the appeal was correctly dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and that the case will continue before the court towards a final decision on the merits," said leaders from Planned Parenthood, the ALCU of Ohio and more in a statement. "The state will fight us every step of the way but we know that Senate Bill 23 violates the Ohio Constitution and we are confident that the law is on our side."

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