A pro-abortion group is taking the state of Ohio to court over a law that limits telehealth abortions, according to Thursday reports.
“Planned Parenthood Federation of America and two of its Ohio affiliates on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Health and prosecutors in Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton counties to stop enforcement of a state ban on telemedicine abortion that was signed into law earlier this year,” The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
The Republican-controlled legislature passed SB 260 in December. The bill was later signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine (R).
It bars doctors from prescribing chemical abortion pills to patients, and allowing them to take that pill during a telehealth appointment. The bill is scheduled to take effect April 12.
Chemical abortions require two pills. The law requires that doctors are present with patients when they take the first of those two pills, or they risk being charged with a fourth-degree felony. Breaking the law multiple times could lead to a third-degree felony.
“It is past time for the abortion industry to be held accountable for their blatant disregard for patient safety and human life,” Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis said when the bill passed. “For years, Planned Parenthood and their abortion allies have pushed unsafe telemedicine abortions to pad their bottom line. They’ve done this at the expense of vulnerable women. Women who are left to deal with the serious and even fatal consequences of chemical abortion alone and in some cases hours away from the physician who provided the drugs.”
Telehealth has become a major method by which doctors see patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, as federal health officials and state governments imposed social distancing guidelines on Americans.
“We’re taking them to court to make sure that our patients can access medication abortion — a safe, effective, and vital part of reproductive health — without the added burdens of travel and time,” Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio’s CEO Iris E. Harvey said in a statement. “It’s already hard for people to access abortion services because of more than a decade of attacks by extreme anti-abortion forces in Ohio. We’ll never stop fighting to change that.”
The abortionists are seeking an injunction that would stop the law from going into effect, claiming that the law “blatantly violates the Ohio Constitution’s guarantees of substantive due process, equal protection, and free choice in health care.”
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