(WJW) – The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years — a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases. Friday’s outcome overturning Roe v. Wade is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.
The decision is already having an impact on abortion laws in Ohio.
Late Friday afternoon, a federal judge ruled in favor of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to make the Heartbeat Bill a law.
A federal judge had issued an injunction against the Heartbeat Law because it was considered unconstitutional.
Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, the judge has ruled that the law can go into effect, meaning women wouldn’t be able to get an abortion in Ohio after a heartbeat is detected, which is usually about a month and a half into a pregnancy.
“That law has been tied up in court because it was unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade,” said Case Western Reserve law professor Jessie Hill.
“This decision returns abortion policy to the place where it has always belonged, to the elected policy branches of government, it never belonged in the courts,” said Yost in a recorded statement.
State Senate President Matt Huffman held off until the Supreme Court ruled on abortion rights before the legislature considers banning the procedure in Ohio.
In a statement Friday, he said: “I look forward to reviewing the specific details in the opinion, so that as we move forward, any legislation we pass in the Ohio Senate follows the guidance of the court, protecting life, and upholding the Constitution.”
“They are out on recess right now until I believe after the August primary, but they could come back if they want to at any time to hold a special session and pass an abortion ban,” said Hill.
“Roe was poorly reasoned, a doctrine of shifting sands that invited non-stop litigation, that’s exactly what we’ve had for fifty years,” said Yost.
Hill said Ohio’s GOP has indicated its intention to pass a total abortion ban at some point, now that states get to choose whether to allow it or not.
“What that means is there is room for advocacy for action at the state level on both sides of the issue and I expect that’s what we’re gonna see in Ohio,” said Hill.
About 20,000 abortions are performed in Ohio each year.
Professor Hill says recent polling shows that more than half of Ohioans support abortion rights.
Meanwhile, Yost said he’s calling on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to hold any violent protesters legally accountable, no matter which side they are on.