The U.S. Supreme Court has struck downa Texas law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and requiring abortion clinics to meet standards for ambulatory surgical centers.
Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles examines how the ruling affects Ohio.
State lawmakers have put in place restrictions on Ohio abortion clinics that are similar to those in Texas. So the leader of NARAL Pro Choice Ohio, Kellie Copeland, says the Supreme Court’s ruling against the state of Texas is a victory for abortion clinics in Ohio too.
“We think that Ohio politicians were put on notice.”
Attorney Jennifer Branch of Gerhardstein and Branch, a law firm that has argued many court cases for abortion providers, says this ruling will affect similar laws in place in Ohio that require abortion clinics to have transfer agreements with hospitals.
“The State of Ohio has been told by this decision to stop adding restrictions to clinics purely for the purpose of shutting clinics down and prohibiting access to abortion.”
But Mike Gonadakis with Ohio Right to Life doesn’t think this Texas ruling has any bearing on Ohio’s abortion laws.
“While it was a punch in the gut to the pro life movement, we believe that Ohio’s regulatory scheme will not be impacted negatively or positively as it relates to the Texas decision.”
Gonadakis says it does confirm his group’s contention that the nation’s high court is not ready to accept some abortion measures – such as the bill that would ban an abortion when a heartbeat could be detected or the personhood plan that would ban abortion at a point an egg is fertilized. And he says the ruling shows measures such as that so-called “heartbeat bill” or the self-titled “Personhood Amendment” go too far.
“We need to grow up here in Ohio as it relates to the legislation that we are putting forth and do things that are responsible, do things that are common sense and that we know will survive a court challenge because what we saw in Texas sets the movement back.”
Gonadakis believes there is some legislation under consideration at the Statehouse right now that would be constitutional if passed. That includes the bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, which supporters say is the point at which a fetus can feel pain, and the bill that would require abortion clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains.