Newsbreak

Judge blocks Ohio abortion ambulatory-agreement law pending legal challenge

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US District Court Judge Michael Barrett has blocked Ohio from enforcing its law requiring abortion clinics to have ambulatory patient-transfer agreements with nearby hospitals, granting the city of Cincinnati’s last abortion clinic a temporary reprieve from closure.

The injunction will remain in effect until the law’s constitutionality is decided, before which point Barrett said the block is necessary to prevent the abortion industry from suffering “irreparable harm.”

“The public interest in preserving the status quo,” the judge continued, “and in ensuring access to the constitutionally protected health care services while this case proceeds is strong.”

Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio CEO Jerry Lawson hailed the ruling as an “important message to Ohio politicians that their unconstitutional attempts to restrict access to abortion will not stand.” But Greater Cincinnati Right to Life executive director Paula Westwood declared it “a scandal that abortionists are constantly exempted from laws no other ambulatory surgical facilities break.”

The law was originally driven in part by the case of Lakisha Wilson, who died last year resulting from an illegal late-term abortion, after which she was improperly monitored and cared for, and paramedics were unable to get her to a hospital in time.

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