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Ohio Supreme Court rejects lawsuit to keep abortion rights amendment off November ballot

Gavel outside the Ohio Supreme Court
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Gavel outside the Ohio Supreme Court

The Ohio Supreme Court has tossed a lawsuit that sought to keep the proposed abortion amendment from making it onto the statewide ballot this November.

All of the justices rejected a lawsuit brought by Republican former state lawmaker Tom Brinkman of Cincinnati and Jennifer Giroux, a Hamilton County resident who ran for the 27th House district as a Republican last year and failed.

Their lawsuit, filed two weeks ago by Cincinnati attorney Curt Hartman, claimed the amendment was invalid because petitions circulated to gather signatures didn’t specify which state laws would be repealed if voters pass the measure in November, such as the six-week abortion ban that passed in 2019 but is now on hold because of litigation.

In its ruling, three of the four Republican justices on the court said a petition proposing a constitutional amendment does not have to include the text of an existing statute. All three Democratic justices concurred. And one Republican justice rejected the lawsuit on different grounds.

This means the amendment, which would guarantee reproductive and abortion rights in Ohio’s constitution, has the green light to go before voters this November.

Elizabeth Marbach, director of communications for Ohio Right to Life, responded to the court's ruling.

“Given the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision, we remain focused on defeating the ACLU’s radical attempt to enshrine state-sanctioned murder into our state’s constitution this November. Ohioans from all 88 counties are ready to reject their extremism this fall," Marbach said.

In a written statement, Kellie Copeland, spokeswoman for Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, said the group is glad the court made this unanimous decision quickly.

"Ohioans believe we should have the freedom to make our own personal health care decisions about pregnancy and abortion, free from government interference," Copeland said.

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments on the six-week abortion ban often called the “heartbeat law” on Sept. 27, two weeks before early voting begins for the Nov. 7 election.

Contact Jo Ingles at
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