by Tyler Arnold
In a joint filing, both sides of the Ohio abortion lawsuit have requested that the U.S. district court delay information gathering until after a similar case in Kentucky is settled.
Both Kentucky and Ohio passed legislation to prohibit abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as five and a half weeks into the pregnancy. After a lawsuit was brought by abortion rights advocates, a federal court struck down Kentucky’s legislation. The state has appealed the ruling.
A district court has also blocked some of the Ohio law from going into effect. The government cannot charge doctors under this legislation until the judge issues a ruling.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed this legislation in April. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed his state’s legislation back in March.
Under the Ohio law, a doctor who conducts an abortion after the fetal heartbeat could face up to a year in prison with a fifth degree felony. The State Medical Board could also take further disciplinary action, which could include up to $20,000 in fines. Although there is no rape or incest exception, the bill does provide an exception if the mother’s life is at risk.
More than a dozen states have passed legislation restricting abortions after the U.S. Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court to replace former Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy, who was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan, consistently sided with the court’s liberals to uphold abortion rights despite opposition from many Republicans and the court’s conservatives.
Although Kavanaugh has not said he would repeal parts of the Supreme Court’s abortion precedent, many lawmakers believe his replacement has shifted the court to the right, which provides them an opportunity to challenge the federal standards.
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Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia, Ohio and Michigan for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.
Photo “Ohio Abortion Protests” by Becker1999. CC BY 2.0.