Ohio Abortion Law Changes - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Ohio Abortion Law Changes

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A federal appeals court on Monday ordered that some provisions of Ohio's abortion law can take effect in one week while judges consider whether the law is constitutional.

"This is a victory for the unborn, but the fight is not over," Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro said in a statement.

The 6th U.S. Circuit court of appeals is considering a Cincinnati clinic's appeal of U.S. District judge Sandra Beckwith's September 8 ruling that the 1998 law setting new requirements for women and minors seeking abortions is constitutional. The appeals court on September 22 put the law, which has never gone into effect, on hold while it considers the appeal.

On Monday, the court said all but one provision of the law could take effect at 5 p.m. On October 10 and remain in force during the appeal.

Alphonse Gerhardstein, the attorney representing the clinic, said he was disappointed the court decided to implement part of the statute.

"It's good that they are not allowing one part to be implemented, but we will continue our appeal and hope that the court eventually will hold all of the law unconstitutional," he said.

Gerhardstein said he may ask the court to reconsider Monday's order.

The provisions that can go into effect next week require women seeking an abortion to receive counseling from a doctor at least 24 hours in advance and minors seeking abortions to have the consent of at least one parent before an abortion can be performed.

The appeals court said that the plaintiff, Cincinnati Women's Services, has not shown a strong likelihood of succeeding in its challenges to those provisions.

The court blocked the provision that would prohibit a minor from seeking a judge's bypass of the parental consent order more than once for the same pregnancy. The 6th Circuit said the clinic's challenge to that provision raises serious questions.

The clinic contends that the provision could put an undue burden on minors in cases where medical information concerning the minors' best interest is discovered after a first bypass application to a judge is denied and those minors are not allowed to apply again for a bypass of parental consent.

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