COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A federal court temporarily halted the enactment of the state’s “heartbeat bill” Wednesday.
A preliminary injunction was issued by a federal judge in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Ohio.
The ruling means clinics across Ohio will remain open and continue to offer abortions for the time being until courts can come to a final decision.
The bill, officially Senate Bill 23, was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine on April 11. The act makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion once a heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women realize they are pregnant.
The act contains exceptions for the health of the mother. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
NARAL, a pro-choice group, issued the following statement from its deputy director, Jamie Miracle:
“The most important thing that Ohioans need to know is that abortion access is available in Ohio. When a person has decided to have an abortion, they should be able to access that care safely, affordably, in their community, with support and respect, not shame or pressure. With Gov. DeWine’s attack on abortion rights now blocked, the doctors, nurses, staff, and volunteers at nine facilities across the state can continue to assist patients in safely terminating a pregnancy.”Jamie Miracle, NARAL