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Federal judge blocks Ohio law banning abortions on babies with heartbeats

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

July 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked from taking effect Ohio's new law banning most abortions on babies with detectable heartbeats.

Responding to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood, Judge Michael Barrett issued a preliminary injunction of Senate Bill 23 while he contemplates the pro-abortion organizations’ arguments. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed the heartbeat bill into law in April. It would have gone into effect July 10. 

A number of other states, including Iowa, Georgia, Louisiana, and Missouri, have recently passed laws protecting babies with heartbeats from being aborted. They all face similar opposition and legal challenges from pro-abortion organizations. 

Barrett wrote that should the law go into effect, “one could characterize the obstacle Ohio women will face [to obtain abortions] as not merely ‘substantial,’ but, rather, ‘insurmountable.’”

“Take heart, this is just another step to get to our destination – the Supreme Court and the heart of Roe v. Wade,” Janet Porter, head of Faith2Action and the architect of the legislation, told LifeSiteNews via email. 

Barrett suggested that the life-saving law is unconstitutional. 

“The Court concludes, based on current United States Supreme Court precedent, that Plaintiffs are certain to succeed on the merits of their claim that S.B. 23 is unconstitutional on its face,” Barrett wrote. In a reference to Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992 ruled against laws that place an “undue burden” on women seeking abortion, Barrett wrote that the heartbeat bill “places an ‘undue burden’ on a woman's right to choose a pre-viability abortion.” 

He added that “thus far, all other attempts by states to ban abortion beginning at the detection of cardiac activity have been invalidated.”

As heartbeat bills have gained momentum across the country, leftists and abortion advocates have tried to draw attention away from unborn babies’ heartbeats – which can be detected around six weeks into pregnancy – by using euphemisms like “electric pulsing” and “cardiac activity.”

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