On Sept. 14, Hamilton County Common Pleas Court issued a 14-day restraining order on Senate Bill 23’s six-week abortion ban, which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. In June, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Gov. Mike DeWine signed an executive order that put the bill, originally signed into law in 2019, into effect.

The restraining order was issued as a result of a joint effort by the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and WilmerHale, an international law firm that focuses on equal justice. The order restores access to abortion until Wednesday, September 28.

The decision, written by Judge Christian A. Jenkins, said that since the 1971 Roe v. Wade decision, there has not been much Ohio case law to determine whether abortion is a right under the Ohio Constitution. The decision, in particular, states:

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“SB 23 does not violate the US Constitution as recently interpreted in the Dobbs decision, but may violate the Ohio Constitution. As far as this court can tell, no Ohio court has directly addressed this issue, so this court will.

The decision goes on to say that the rights to privacy, procreation, bodily integrity and freedom of choice in health care decisions are fundamental rights under Ohio law. Citing the 2011 Health Care Freedom Act, or HCFA, an amendment to the Ohio Constitution that was written at the time to undermine the Affordable Care Act, a Hamilton County court ruled that the Act’s wording prohibited Ohio lawmakers from regulating Ohio’s types of health care can access.

“HCFA is a clear constitutional recognition of the fundamental nature of the right to liberty and privacy in health care decision-making,” the decision said.

As of press time, the plaintiffs in the case have six days to persuade the court to issue a preliminary injunction that would have put SB 23 on hold until the case is resolved.

In a statement on the decision on September 14, representatives of Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center, Women’s Center of Toledo and Dr. Sharon Liner said they are pleased that the decision means the return of abortion rights temporarily .

“We have already seen the devastating impact Senate Bill 23 has had on people seeking abortions in Ohio,” the statement said. “We remain firmly committed to defending against any attempt to limit Ohioans’ constitutional right to access a full range of reproductive health care.”