Gov. John Kasich's plan to leave Cincinnati without a single surgical abortion provider has run into the court system and the last two clinics in southwestern Ohio will stay open for now.
A federal judge banned Ohio health officials from enforcing a strict new abortion law on Tuesday, until a lawsuit challenging it goes to trial next year.
U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett issued a preliminary injunction against Ohio's abortion law, and allowed a clinic in Cincinnati and one in Dayton to stay open.
The clinics sued the state in September, after they feared closure by new abortion laws. If that happened, Cincinnati would have been the largest metropolitan area in the nation without a surgical abortion provider.
In his ruling, Barrett wrote the abortion clinics had “likelihood of success” moving forward with the case.
“An emergency is now stopped and now we can take a deep breath,” said Jennifer Branch, a civil rights lawyer for Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio’s Mount Auburn clinic and Women’s Med Group’s Kettering clinic.
“Today, the court ruled in favor of Ohio women, ensuring access to safe and legal abortion,” said Jerry Lawson, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio. “This sends an important message to Ohio politicians that their unconstitutional attempts to restrict access to abortion will not stand. Patient safety is our top priority.”
Judge Barrett had issued a two-week restraining order against the Ohio GOP's abortion law on September 30th, otherwise the clinics would have closed on October 1. He said that he needed the time to investigate the merits of the case and whether or not closing the clinics would cause irreparable harm to Cincinnati and Dayton. Now he's made his decision and the clinics in Dayton and Cincy can stay open.
This is a pretty huge win, frankly. And the loser is Gov. John Kasich. Big time.