KETTERING — The Women’s Med Center in Kettering had been scheduled to halt abortion services by Sept. 14 and halt operations altogether next month after the United States Supreme Court send abortion decisions back to the individual states. That is now on hold after a judge extended a temporary block on Ohio’s law banning abortions.
Several groups, including the Women’s Med Center and the ACLU of Ohio, challenged the law, filing complaints to the Ohio Supreme Court and a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge. Its an example of what legal experts call “Forum Shopping.”
“What they will do is pick the court that they feel might be more advantageous to them,” Tom Hagel, University of Dayton law professor, said.
A Hamilton County judge granted a temporary block restraining order lasting until Sept. 28, but an ACLU spokesperson told News Center 7 that Judge Christian Jenkins stated that he will extend the order through Oct. 21 during a status conference. The judge also said he’d set a preliminary injunction hearing on Oct. 7.
The Women’s Med Center has seen a surge of patients from a handful of states since the temporary block was put in place. On Monday, the center saw 30 patients.
Those opposing abortions were also still in place in front of the center on Monday and Tuesday. A Dayton Right to Life spokesperson told News Center 7 that the law was debated and argued by both sides for 10 years.
“It is a fair and just law that was initiated by the people, passed by our elected officials and signed by the Governor. It is quite remarkable that the judge has deemed himself worthy to silence the will of millions of Ohioans,” a Dayton Right to Life spokesperson said.
Hagel said it would be unusual for a judge to issue more than one or two extensions a temporary restraining order before hearing arguments on the case, but even his ruling would not be final as one of both sides would likely appeal any initial decision.
“Regardless of how long it strings out, it is ultimately going to end up in the Ohio Supreme Court,” Hagel.
The judge will collect arguments from both sides, the attorney general will represent Ohio and hold a preliminary injunction hearing on Oct. 7. His decision would likely be appealed to a Cincinnati area Court of Appeals and then the Ohio Supreme Court.
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