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Women's Med Dayton, et al vs. Bruce Vanderhoff, et al

Status: Ongoing
Last Update: June 17, 2022

What's at Stake

On February 25, 2022, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Ohio, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, along with Fanon A. Rucker of the Cochran Firm-OH, filed a lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 157, recently passed legislation that would allow the Department of Health to revoke ambulatory surgical licenses and threaten to shut down procedural abortion services in Southwest Ohio. Governor DeWine signed the bill into law on December 22, 2021.

Summary

The legal challenge, filed in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, seeks a temporary restraining order followed by a preliminary injunction to provide immediate relief to one of the plaintiffs, Women’s Med Dayton. Although SB 157 was not set to take effect until March 23, 2022, the law was already being enforced against Women’s Med.

On March 2, 2022, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Alison Hatheway granted the temporary restraining order, blocking the premature enforcement of Senate Bill 157. Judge Hatheway found that Plaintiff Women’s Med Dayton was likely to succeed on its claim that the premature enforcement of the law before its effective date violates its due process rights. On April 15, 2022, Judge Hatheway granted Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, which remained in effect until June 21.

While the above preliminary injunction pertained to premature enforcement of SB 157, Plaintiffs filed a second motion for a preliminary injunction on the substance of the law. On June 17, 2022, Judge Hatheway granted the second preliminary injunction, blocking the law from taking effect.

SB 157 makes it even more difficult, if not impossible, for abortion clinics to comply with the already onerous requirements to maintain their ambulatory surgical license. Clinics must maintain an ambulatory surgical license to provide procedural abortion. Under this new law, abortion clinics can no longer contract with backup physicians who teach or provide instruction, directly or indirectly, at a medical school or osteopathic medical school affiliated with a state university or college, or are employed by or compensated pursuant to a contract with, and provide instruction or consultation to, a medical school or osteopathic medical school affiliated with a state university or college.

Women’s Med Dayton is represented by the ACLU and ACLU of Ohio. Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region is represented by Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Fanon A. Rucker.

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