On April 27, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Ohio Department of Health and other defendants from prohibiting surgical abortions that are medically indicated and cannot be delayed.  Several abortion providers asked the court to allow their physicians to make case by case determinations when a surgical abortion is essential.  On March 17, 2020, the Director of the Ohio Department of Health ordered non-essential medical procedures and surgery to stop.  ODH sent several abortion providers a cease and desist letter and then inspected abortion clinics without ever providing the results.  These actions caused the providers to seek protection from the Court.  With the preliminary injunction in place, medication abortions (before 10 weeks) and surgical abortions will continue in Ohio. The Court made clear that is up to physicians to make “case-by-case determinations that a surgical abortion is essential when the procedure is necessary because of the timing vis-a-vis previability; to protect the patient’s health or life; and due to medical reasons (which implicate undue risk to the current or future health of the patient and the gestational age of the fetus, as determined by the physician, as it relates to the increased risk of the procedure as the pregnancy progresses).”

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