The American Civil Liberties Union say they, along with Planned Parenthood, filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging Ohio's law banning abortion after a detectable heartbeat.
The first heartbeat is detected around six weeks of the pregnancy.
“At six weeks, most people don’t even know they’re pregnant,” said Kersha Deibel, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region. “We’re challenging this law because it would take away a person’s right to make their own medical decisions before they even know they have a decision to make. When politicians attack health care, they disproportionately impact people of color, women, the LGBTQ community and young people and access to health care should not depend on who you are, where you live, or how much money you make. Politicians have no right to dictate personal medical decisions and we will not stand for it.”
Lawmakers in Alabama and Georgia have since signed similar bills into law as the debate has also made its way to Missouri.
The ACLU says their challenge seeks immediate relief to prevent the law from taking effect on July 10.
Planned Parenthood and the ALCU calls the bans "dangerous."
“This assault on reproductive rights has been anticipated, and we’ve been preparing and perfecting our case. ‘Total ban’ is not inflammatory rhetoric — this is a ban on almost all abortions, and if the court does not block it, it will imperil the freedoms and health of Ohio women,” said Freda Levenson, Legal Director of the ACLU of Ohio. “The law of the land has been crystal clear for nearly 50 years: women have a categorical right to a pre-viability abortion.”
The ACLU tweeted this directed at politicians after they announced the lawsuit:
The ACLU says a court has already blocked a nearly identical measure to the Heartbeat Bill in Kentucky, while abortion providers have sued in Mississippi and have announced their intent to sue in Georgia in the coming months.
“Make no mistake, unless blocked by the court, this law would ban approximately 90 percent of abortions in Ohio, which would disproportionately affect people of color, people struggling financially, and young people,” said Elizabeth Watson, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “For over 40 years, Roe v. Wade has ensured that every person in Ohio and across the country can make the deeply personal decision about whether to become parents or grow their family without shame, obstacles, or stigma. Let this be a warning to the anti-abortion politicians in Ohio and across the country — if you attack our right to abortion, we will always be here to defend it.”
The ACLU and Planned Parenthood are also challenging a separate law that criminalizes abortion when one of a woman's reasons for an abortion is a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Planned Parenthood and Women’s Med Center of Dayton are challenging an abortion ban prohibiting physicians from providing dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures, the standard method for abortion care after about 14 to 15 weeks of pregnancy, as well as a state law that requires surgical abortion providers to secure a written transfer agreement with a local hospital.
“This unconscionable abortion ban is denying every woman and person that seeks out abortion care the empathy, compassion, safety, and respect they deserve,” said Chrisse France, the Executive Director of Preterm-Cleveland. “With our friends at the ACLU, we are taking on this immoral, dangerous ban – we are committed to fighting to keep abortion legal, accessible, and free of shame and stigma.”
Planned Parenthood tweeted a reminder that these bans aren't yet in effect.