ACLU sues Ohio over abortion restrictions

Oct. 9, 2013 at 4:21 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The American Civil Liberties Union said it has sued Ohio over anti-abortion provisions tucked into the state budget and passed into law.

ACLU representatives said the manner by which legislators passed the abortion restrictions violated the Ohio constitution's "single purpose" provision, which requires bills to deal with only one issue, in this case appropriating funds, not social policy, The (Cleveland) Plain-Dealer reported Wednesday.

The new laws prohibit public hospitals from transferring patients to clinics that perform abortions, they require doctors to read from a state-written script when dealing with women who want an abortion and require doctors to make a woman listen to the fetal heartbeat before going through with the procedure.

Despite the ACLU's pro-choice stand, Susan Scheutzow, a lawyer who's helping on the lawsuit said it's just as much about good government as it is about preserving a woman's right to an abortion.

"To put it simply, none of these amendments have any place in the state budget bill," Scheutzow said. "This massive bill is not intended to deal with new policy; the single subject of the budget should be the appropriation of funds for existing government programs or obligations."

The suit was filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court but is expected to be taken up eventually by the Ohio State Supreme Court.

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