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Federal Judge Upholds Ohio Medication Abortion Law

Federal Judge Upholds Ohio Medication Abortion Law

May 31, 2011 — A federal judge on May 24 upheld a 2004 Ohio law (Section 2919.123 (A)) that restricts the use of a medication abortion drug and bars physicians from prescribing the drug outside of FDA guidelines, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Planned Parenthood had challenged the law on constitutional grounds, arguing that it essentially forced women into choosing surgical abortion over medication abortion (Johnson, Columbus Dispatch, 5/27). The law effectively prohibits any off-label use of the drug (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/6/09).

Last week's decision by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott upheld the constitutionality of the law. The measure was set to take effect in September 2004 but was put on hold pending the outcome of the case.

Planned Parenthood said in a release, "We are very disappointed in the federal district-court ruling that denies women in Ohio access to the same safe abortion care that is available in every other state in the country," adding, "This ruling upholds a bad law passed by Ohio politicians who think they know better than doctors how to practice medicine." The release continued, "The judgment of Ohio doctors is being trumped by right-wing, ideological legislators when it comes to this one, safe medication" (Columbus Dispatch, 5/27).