Ohio clinics resume abortions up to 20 weeks pregnant

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Patients and clinics in Ohio are wasting no time scheduling abortions after a judge temporarily blocked the state’s abortion ban, allowing abortions up to 20 weeks pregnant.

Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christian Jenkins ruled Wednesday that the state Constitution could protect Ohioans’ right to abortion. The ruling blocks Ohio’s ban on abortions after fetal heart activity is detected — which is typically about six weeks into pregnancy — for 14 days.

Abortion clinics in Columbus and the Dayton area are taking advantage while they can, but are hoping the order will be extended.

Learn more about Ohio’s abortion ban:Ohio’s six-week abortion ban is suspended for at least 14 days. What do you want to know

Aileen Day, director of communications for Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, said in a text that abortions after six weeks will also resume Monday at the Planned Parenthood Clinic on the east side of Columbus.

A representative from the Women’s Med Center in Kettering, near Dayton, said abortions up to 14 weeks gestation would resume there on Monday.

“We will then progress a few weeks at a time as we replenish our staff and get started,” she said.

News of Ohio’s temporary restraining order spread quickly, with the Women’s Med Center booking 30 patients for surgical and medical abortions over the course of six hours Thursday. Prior to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the clinic typically booked 20 patients a day, the rep said.

“We are very pleased to serve the women of Ohio again and hope this continues,” said a spokesperson for the Women’s Med Center.

The spokesperson said the clinic is even seeing patients from as far away as Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas.

People don’t know what’s legal, where to go

Kellie Copland, executive director of Pro-Choice Ohio, said it’s been very difficult for people to know where abortions are available. Rules about when abortion during pregnancy is legal have been very fluid in Ohio and across the country since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade on June 24, she said.

The spokesperson for the Women’s Med Center said they “still have patients who call and don’t even know (about the restraining order). The women are very confused by all of this.”

Abortion Ban Poll:2 in 3 adults in Ohio oppose 6-week abortion ban

The same day abortion became legal in Ohio, the near total ban went into effect in Indiana. A day later on Friday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed into law a near-total ban on abortions.

“A lot of people in Ohio before this was implemented, if they could, would go to Indiana. Abortion access has also fluctuated in Kentucky,” she said. “I really encourage people, if they need care, to contact a clinic in their area and just ask.”

Abortion is currently illegal in Kentucky, with few exceptions, after courts temporarily suspended the state’s trigger law ban and then reinstated the law.

Copeland, said she was grateful the Hamilton County judge stepped in at least for now to end the suffering of Ohioans who need abortions.

Related article:The day Roe v. Wade fell: Panic, praise at Ohio abortion clinics

“Obviously, we hope that the temporary restraining order will be extended by a preliminary injunction and that access to abortion will be restored on a more permanent basis while this case goes to trial and progresses through the justice system” , Copeland said.

A spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost did not return a call seeking comment.

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