U.S. judge blocks part of Ohio’s new abortion ban for 2 weeks

CINCINNATI — A judge is temporarily blocking part of a new Ohio law that bans the abortion method of dilation and evacuation in most cases.

Senior U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett in Cincinnati stopped short of saying whether the procedure commonly used in second-trimester abortions is unconstitutional. He says he wants to hear more from both sides in a pending lawsuit before deciding that.

The lawsuit by Planned Parenthood argues the ban is unconstitutional because it puts an undue burden on women seeking abortions after about 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The ban signed last year by then-Gov. John Kasich took effect Friday, but Barrett’s Thursday order blocks enforcement of it in certain circumstances for two weeks.

The Ohio attorney general’s office is defending the law’s constitutionality and asked Barrett to reconsider.

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