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Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio

Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region

For Immediate Release: April 19, 2019

Contact: Planned Parenthood Media Office, 212-261-4519, [email protected]

BREAKING: Court Rules to Temporarily Protect Abortion Access for Ohioans

Cincinnati, OH — Yesterday, a federal court granted a partial injunction in favor of Planned Parenthood and Women’s Med Center of Dayton in their latest lawsuit to protect Ohioans’ access to safe, legal abortion. This ruling will continue to allow patients and health care providers to make medical decisions that are best for them without interference from politicians while the case proceeds.

In December, anti-women’s health politicians in the Ohio legislature passed Senate Bill 145, which bans a safe and medically-preferred method of second-trimester abortion. Major medical organizations like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose this type of ban, noting, “these restrictions represent legislative interference at its worst: doctors will be forced, by ill-advised, unscientifically motivated policy, to provide lesser care to patients. This is unacceptable.”

For years, Governor Mike DeWine (formerly Ohio’s Attorney General) has actively participated in the coordinated national strategy of anti-reproductive health politicians, who’ve passed more than 420 restrictions on abortion at the state level since 2010. In Ohio, more than 22 abortion restrictions have been passed and signed into law in that time. And, Ohio’s anti-women’s health politicians aren’t done yet. Just last week, Ohio passed a six-week abortion ban that will effectively bans abortion in the state full stop –– as it bans abortion before most women know they are pregnant. Additionally, the state is officially set to “defund” Planned Parenthood on April 20 and block Ohioans from essential reproductive health care.

Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“This ruling is a victory for patients in Ohio and their right to make their own health care decisions. This ban has no basis in medicine, which is why it has been opposed by the medical community. Women’s health care is health care. Reproductive health care is health care. And health care is a fundamental human right. Planned Parenthood will always safeguard the ability of our patients to access safe, legal abortion, no matter what.”

Statement from Iris E. Harvey, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio:

“Planned Parenthood is pleased that the court ruled on the side of our patients. While we rejoice in this temporary win, we know that there is more work to do to ensure that Ohioans’ right to health care is not further eroded. Planned Parenthood is prepared to relentlessly fight for all Ohioans to access the full spectrum of reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion.”

Statement from Kersha Deibel, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region:

“We are thrilled that the court saw through this blatant attempt to ban safe, legal abortion. Planned Parenthood will continue to fight against the efforts of Ohio politicians that threaten the health and safety of the people they were elected to represent. The courts agree that limiting the options available to medical professionals is not only foolish, it’s dangerous. Our patients deserve to have their health care come before political agendas; this isn’t about politics, it’s about access to health care.”

Ohio’s Method Ban Is Dangerous, Unconstitutional Policy:

Ohio’s method ban serves no medical purpose and imperils women’s health by preventing doctors from making the best decisions for their patients. Instead, the sole purpose of the law is to restrict access. This law would ban the safest method of abortion for women obtaining abortions after approximately 15 weeks of pregnancy. Restrictions to abortion are hardest on people who already face barriers to health care — including people of color, immigrants, young people, people with disabilities, those in rural areas, and people with low-incomes.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that these types of punitive restrictions on abortion access are blatantly unconstitutional. In its Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt decision, the Court held that abortion restrictions must clear a very high constitutional bar, and that laws designed to cut off abortion access or burden women are unconstitutional and must be struck down. Nine other states including TexasLouisianaKansas and Oklahoma have passed similar laws. Every court to have considered a similar ban has ruled it unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs—Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, and Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation—are represented by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, as well as the Cincinnati-based firm Gerhardstein & Branch and lawyers from Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

About Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio: The mission of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio is to protect, promote, and provide empowered health care for generations of women, men, and families across Ohio. PPGOH serves approximately 65,000 patients annually throughout Ohio including metropolitan areas in Toledo, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Mansfield, Cleveland, Columbus, and Athens. www.ppgoh.org.

About Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region: Serving 20 counties in southwestern Ohio and three in northern Kentucky, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio strengthens the community by providing access to high quality health care and education that empower people to make informed private decisions about their reproductive lives and sexual health.  With seven health centers throughout the region, it is Planned Parenthood’s goal to provide reproductive health care services to any individual who wants or needs them, to advocate public policies which guarantee each individual's access to services, to advocate individual’s right to privacy and their ability to make reproductive decisions free of coercion and to provide human sexuality education which enhances the health and well-being of individuals in the community. Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region is an affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.