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Planned Parenthood Sues to Block Ohio Law Requiring Informed Consent Before Abortion

Ohio laws requiring informed consent and a waiting period before women obtain an abortion have been legally challenged by pro-abortion organizations.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit earlier this spring seeking to remove the mandatory 24-hour waiting period for women pursuing abortion, which is legally required to take place after they receive information about the procedure.

The stipulations include private appointments with physicians who inform pregnant women of various details such as the age of their developing babies, the risks of having an abortion and life-affirming alternatives. Ohio law allows elective abortion up to viability, or roughly 22 weeks gestation.

The legal period for abortion extended in November 2023, when voters approved a constitutional amendment called Issue 1 that upended the previously enacted heartbeat bill that banned abortion around six weeks gestation, becoming the fourth state to enshrine a so-called “right” to abortion in its constitution since the historic overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a slew of pro-abortion organizations in the Buckeye State, including the Planned Parenthood facilities of Southwest Ohio and Greater Ohio, Preterm-Cleveland, Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation and Northeast Ohio Women’s Center. The plaintiffs have argued that the laws in question violate the constitutional amendment abortion protections passed last year and requested that the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas declare them unenforceable.

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“The same groups that insisted Issue 1 was about guarding women’s healthcare are using the abortion amendment to remove Ohio’s law on giving women adequate time and information so they can make a voluntary decision,” said Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America Midwestern Regional Director Sue Liebel.

She also noted, per an April 3 press release, that the amendment driving the lawsuit is “like every abortion amendment [and is] a bait-and-switch campaign to legalize second- and third-trimester abortions.”

The lawsuit challenging the informed consent and 24-hour waiting period came followed a separate amended complaint was filed in Hamilton County—also by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood—which challenges the legal requirement to have a written transfer agreement (WTA) provided by every abortion facility to operate and the stipulation that public hospitals are forbidden from entering into such agreements.

According to an August 2023 report from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, 33 states hold similar requirements that mandate informed consent before women obtain abortions. Twenty-nine of those states provide specific information that must be given to pregnant women. Additionally, 28 have another mandate that insists women wait, generally 24 hours, from receiving the required information and obtaining an abortion.

Almost every state with informed consent and waiting period laws require that pre-abortion counseling include details about the process and risks of abortion procedures as well as information about fetal development. A total of 31 states are mandated to tell women how old their unborn child is before committing an abortion.

LifeNews Note: This article was originally published at Pregnancy Help News and is reprinted here with permission. 

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