Federal Court Blocks Controversial Abortion Ban From Going Into Effect

Jul 3, 2019

A federal court has granted an injunction to prevent a new law restricting nearly all abortions from going into effect. The so called, “Heartbeat Bill,” which bans abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected, was set to go into effect next week. 

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett of Cincinnati granted a preliminary injunction to keep the law from going into effect on July 11. In his ruling, Barrett said the challengers in this case were "certain to succeed on the merits." He said the law places an "undue burden on a woman's right to choose a pre-viability abortion."

If the law had gone into effect, abortions would have been banned at about six weeks into pregnancy. Opponents point out many women don't realize they are pregnant at that point. 

The ACLU of Ohio’s Freda Levenson, says she’s not surprised the by the federal court's ruling. 

“The district court judge was expected to apply the law and he did what he should and naturally would do. We would have been absolutely shocked if this would have come out otherwise," Levenson says.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says he’ll appeal the ruling. About a dozen other states have enacted or considered similar bans but none have yet to survive a federal court challenge.