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ACLU Challenges Ohio’s Anti-Abortion Budget Amendments

Planned Parenthood volunteers help bring the f...

Planned Parenthood volunteers help bring the fight for health insurance reform to the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One week after hundreds of protesters rallied at the Ohio statehouse against new anti-abortion measures in the state’s budget, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Ohio announced a lawsuit challenging three of those provisions.

The anti-abortion amendments were passed in June and took effect September 30. The amendments include cutting Planned Parenthood from federal funding; requiring that patients have an ultrasound before an abortion and requiring the doctor to tell the patient of a heartbeat; funding crisis pregnancy centers; gagging counselors from discussing abortion; and banning abortion clinics from signing transfer agreements with local hospitals.

The suit, filed for a Cleveland women’s health clinic that provides contraception, pregnancy counseling, and abortion services, challenges the prohibition on transfer agreements, the ultrasound requirement, and direct funding of crisis pregnancy centers. The suit alleges all three amendments violate the Ohio Constitution’s “single subject” rule and are unconstitutional.

The purpose of “single-subject” rules is to keep budgets focused only on appropriations as a means of keeping track of state spending and encouraging transparency.

“This litigation is as much about good government as it is about reproductive justice,” said Christine Link, executive director of the ACLU of Ohio, in a statement. “You don’t have to be pro-choice to understand that there are rules, and those rules must be followed.”

Via RH Reality Check.

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