July 3, 2019
COLUMBUS--On Wednesday Senior Judge Michael Barrett of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio issued a temporary restraining order against the enactment of the Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection Act, which was scheduled to take effect on July 10th. This action belays the enforcement of the law as a lawsuit against the law filed by the ACLU and abortion providers proceeds through the courts.
“It is tragically ironic that on the eve of the celebration of our freedom from oppressive tyranny as a nation that this one judge would decide to continue the tyrannical oppression and termination of our most vulnerable citizens” stated Margie Christie, President of the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio (RTLACO) and Executive Director of Dayton Right to Life. “As we reflect on our basic liberties, the most important is life, which Judge Barrett has denied to thousands of Ohio’s precious unborn children.”
The Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection Act, signed by Governor Mike DeWine in April, would prohibit abortions from being performed upon the detection of a fetal heartbeat. Failure to test, or to perform an abortion after finding the presence of a heartbeat, would carry felony penalties for the practitioner.
The law is projected to eliminate up to 18,000 abortions in Ohio annually. Currently there are performed over 20,000 terminations of living unborn children by the seven abortion facilities operating in the state. The bill was passed by the General Assembly after an eight-year journey for the law.
Barrett, who has obtained senior status on the court, noted in his 12 page injunction that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits in their case due to U.S. Supreme Court precedent-setting cases Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade. Legislative sponsors of the act believe it is time for those precedents to be reconsidered in light of the changing roster of the nation’s highest court.
“Judge Barrett has a history of siding with the abortion industry, so this really comes as no surprise. We fully expect Attorney General Dave Yost and Governor DeWine's administration to vigorously defend this law, and to appeal all the way to the United States Supreme Court if necessary” commented Molly Smith, President-elect of RTLACO and President of Cleveland Right to Life. “This one man is now responsible for the continued slaughter of tens of thousands every year.”
Governor Mike DeWine signing the Heartbeat Bill into law, April 2019