ACLJ Asks District Court to Narrow Ruling to Allow Critical Provisions of Pro-Life Bill ACLJ Helped Draft to Go Into Effect | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

ACLJ Files Brief Defending Pro-Life Bill We Helped Draft

By Walter M. Weber1589395839444

The ACLJ has filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of two Ohio state representatives (in their individual capacities) designed to salvage the bulk of a pro-life bill the representatives supported and which the ACLJ helped draft.

The Ohio Heartbeat Protection Act, SB 23, contained more than a dozen provisions adding to, or amending, Ohio’s abortion laws. For example, this bill:

  • Banned abortions done after detection of a heartbeat in the baby
  • Created a civil remedy for post-abortion women
  • Set up a joint legislative committee on adoption
  • Required abortionists to report whether an abortion is done for maternal health reasons or not
  • Established a fund for foster care and adoption initiatives
  • Required written informed consent from women told about their baby’s heartbeat

Ohio abortionists sued in federal court, in Preterm-Cleveland v. Yost, focusing exclusively on the provision that got the most publicity, namely, the ban on abortion after a heartbeat has been detected. The district court granted a preliminary injunction against the measure, as we explained earlier. Notably, the federal district court’s order was phrased as enjoining “SB 23” – which would be the entire bill – rather than just the heartbeat ban section of the enacted law. This makes little sense, as the abortionists did not challenge any of the other provisions.

The abortionists followed up with a motion for judgment on the pleadings, which means they asked the district court to rule in their favor without any further proceedings, such as presentation of evidence. That motion is pending.

The ACLJ decided, in consultation with the legislative sponsors of SB 23 and its House companion bill, that someone needed to alert the federal district court to the overreach of its preliminary injunction (and potential overreach of its upcoming ruling on judgment on the pleadings). So on May 6th we filed legal documents to accomplish that. On behalf of Ronald Hood and Candice Keller, both members of the Ohio House of Representatives and sponsors of the House companion bill to SB 23, we filed a request for leave to submit an amicus brief, along with a supporting legal memo and the proposed amicus brief itself. As we explained:

The current lawsuit includes a challenge to part of the broader legislative package adopted in SB 23, namely, the ban on abortions after detection of fetal heartbeat enacted as Sec. 2919.195(A). . . . Amici have a keen interest in seeing that as much of their legislative handiwork as possible be upheld and allowed to go into effect. . . .

The plaintiffs in the present case did not challenge any of [SB 23’s] provisions, aside from the ban on post-heartbeat abortions in Sec. 2919.195(A). Testing for prenatal heartbeats, for example, was required by preexisting Ohio law, and plaintiffs do not argue that any of the amendments or additions to that requirement violate the Constitution. Neither plaintiffs’ complaint nor their briefing on the motions for TRO, preliminary injunction, or judgment on the pleadings, nor this Court’s preliminary injunction order, purport to find fault with any provision of SB 23 aside from the post-heartbeat ban section. Hence, there is no reason these other important measures, such as the foster care and adoption initiatives fund, should not go into immediate effect.

As we add in the proposed brief:

While amici would prefer to have the legislation enacted in SB 23 take effect in its entirety, at a minimum the many valuable other provisions of this important legislation should be operational, and operational right now.

We are hopeful the district court will allow us to file the brief and will then let the remaining provisions of SB 23 go into effect. The district court has already permitted three other amicus briefs to be filed in the case, and the abortionists have said they do not oppose our request to file. As to the scope of relief, as we explain:

[P]laintiffs have no legitimate interest in obtaining relief against provisions they have not challenged. The state defendants, for their part, presumably have an interest in minimizing the relief this Court grantsagainst them.

In short, it should be clear to all that the court ought not to strike down parts of a bill that no one has even challenged!

At the ACLJ, we’ve been aggressively working, even during this pandemic, to defend life and pro-life laws. Take action with us.

Protect Babies. Defend Heartbeat Bills.

Pro Life  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

As we aggressively take legal action to defend heartbeat bills and defeat the abortion industry, your gift today could help us save lives.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.
Latest in
Pro Life

Pres. Trump Protecting Babies Born Alive After Botched Abortions

By Jordan Sekulow1601052120396

In a big victory for life, President Trump just announced he will sign an Executive order protecting babies who manage to survive abortions and ordering doctors to provide them with life-saving medical care. President Trump revealed his latest order to protect defenseless babies in an address to...

read more

ACLJ Files Notice of Appeal To Overturn Flawed Verdict

By Jordan Sekulow1600439507899

Caution: The following article contains graphic information that sensitive readers may find disturbing. Planned Parenthood was exposed in court, the United States Senate, and House of Representatives for its disgusting practices. And yet, in a bizarre twist of justice, a California jury awarded the...

read more

ANTIFA Targets Pro-Life Leader

By Richard A. Grenell, Special Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy1599753300000

Caution: The following article contains graphic images. On Tuesday night, in Portland, Oregon, Pro-Life leader Tayler Hansen was attacked by ANTIFA. Hansen was bloodied and bruised. He is lucky to be alive. Hansen has been traveling the country painting Baby Lives Matter murals in cities where...

read more

ACLJ's Report at UN: Abortion Harms Women and Girls

By Olivia Summers1599747703641

Recently, the U.N. Working Group on discrimination against women and girls stated that it will be presenting “a thematic report on women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in situations of crisis to the 47th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in June 2021.” To aid...

read more