Activist judge in Ohio freezes abortion ban, decrees right to abortion in state constitution

An unabashedly partisan judge in Ohio has blocked the state’s heartbeat abortion ban for 14 days, just the latest example of how the left is sidestepping the Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe V. Wade.

As a result of the ruling from Democratic Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins, abortion is once again permitted until 20 weeks in the state.

Ohio judge freezes abortion ban

The heartbeat ban was signed into law in 2019 but did not take effect until the Supreme Court ruled in June that there is no right to an abortion under the U.S Constitution. But for the first time, judge Jenkins decided that abortion is a fundamental right protected by Ohio’s state constitution.

“So far as this Court can tell, no Ohio court has directly addressed this issue, so this Court will,” he wrote.

In a bold act of judicial activism, Jenkins breezily decreed that “no great stretch is required to find that Ohio law recognizes a fundamental right to privacy, procreation, bodily integrity and freedom of choice in health care decision making.”

Citing a part of Ohio’s Constitution called the Health Care Freedom Amendment, Judge Jenkins found that abortion “clearly constitutes health care within the ordinary meaning of that term.”

He found that “irreparable harm” is likely unless the abortion ban is frozen, citing horror stories including the widely publicized case of a 10-year-old girl who left the state to seek an abortion after she was raped by an illegal immigrant.

Judicial activism?

The judge also ruled that the ban violates the state constitution’s Equal Protection clause by denying women what Jenkins called “safe and effective health care.”

The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which hailed the ruling.

“We’re grateful that, for now, Ohioans can once again widely access abortion care in their own state. But this is just the first step. We have already seen the devastating impact Senate Bill 23 has had on people seeking abortions in Ohio,” the group said.

Ohio Right to Life chalked the ruling up to “forum shopping.”

“Nowhere in the Ohio Constitution or anywhere in the Ohio Revised Code will any Ohioan find supporting evidence that Ohio’s current heartbeat law is anything other than good law which saves lives. We are more than confident that the heartbeat law will go back into effect relatively soon,” the group said.