Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lawsuit filed against Ohio over abortion restrictions still on the books after constitutional change

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

The ACLU of Ohio, along with others, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of abortion providers who say several state laws on the books are violating the Ohio constitution based on voter approval of Issue 1 last fall.

The lawsuit filed in Franklin County contends several Ohio laws together force abortion patients to wait a minimum of 24 hours after receiving unnecessary state-mandated information in person before they can access an abortion. The lawsuit comes after Ohio voters approved a reproductive rights amendment in November 2023.

In the filing, the ACLU contends the laws provide no health benefit and lack any medical justification. Attorney Jessie Hill is working with the ACLU and said they are barriers to patient care.

“These laws are now in clear violation of the newly amended Ohio Constitution, which enshrines the explicit and fundamental right to abortion and forbids the state from burdening, prohibiting, penalizing, and interfering with access to abortion, and discriminating against abortion patients and providers,” said Hill.

“Whatever a patient’s reasons, accessing abortion is essential to their autonomy, dignity, and ability to care for themselves and their families.”

The lawsuit was filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on behalf of Preterm-Cleveland, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center, and Dr. Catherine Romanos.

The plaintiffs ask the court to issue preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to stop the state from enforcing these restrictions, and to declare them to be unconstitutional under Ohio’s right to reproductive freedom.

Ohio is one of four states that have amended their constitutions to enshrine a fundamental right to abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe-v.-Wade in June 2022.

The state is expected to fight back

State laws banning or limiting abortions have remained on the books, including a ban on abortion after six weeks that’s still in the court system. Republicans who dominate the state legislature have not indicated they plan to change any of them, saying that should be done through court challenges. Minority Democrats have proposed a bill that would repeal or change laws that they say violate the amended Ohio Constitution, but it hasn’t had a hearing.


Contact Jo Ingles at