USA: Abortion ban halted in Ohio and Arizona
In what comes as a minuscule victory for pro-abortion activists, courts in the US states of Ohio and Arizona on Friday halted abortion bans.
Judge Peter J. Eckerstrom, heading a three-judge bench in Arizona stated that the lower court may have erred in resurrecting the Civil War-era law. The judge was referring to the decision by a lower court last month overturning a long-standing injunction that had prevented Arizona from enforcing the ban on abortions.
“Arizona courts have a responsibility to attempt to harmonise all of this state’s relevant statutes,” wrote Judge Eckerstrom in the judgement whilst adding that 'acute need of healthcare providers' had prompted the order.
Meanwhile, in Ohio, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Christian Jenkins also halted a bill that enforces a total ban on abortion from the moment a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
"Abortion is health care to which Ohioans have a right," Judge Jenkins said in his judgement.
“Today’s decision provides a desperately needed sense of security for both our patients and providers," said McGill Johnson, president, and CEO of Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit that provides sexual health care in the US and globally.
“We can now breathe a sigh of relief and serve patients. While the fight isn’t over, for now, Arizonans will once again be able to make their own decisions about their bodies, health care decisions, and futures," he added.
The conservative-dominated court in June, earlier this year declared that individual states can now legalise or restrict the procedure on their own, overturning the historic "Roe v. Wade" ruling from 1973 that established a woman's right to an abortion.