Northeast Ohio abortion providers file lawsuit to block 6 week abortion ban

“We want to help them, but we can’t,” Dr. David Burkons said.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:22 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The ACLU and several abortion providers have filed a lawsuit to block Ohio’s “heartbeat” law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

“Right now, Ohio patients seeking care beyond six weeks are forced to travel hundreds of miles to access abortion, carry pregnancies to term against their will, or seek care outside the medical system. Senate Bill 23 was blocked for nearly three years, and after being in effect for just a few days, the real-world ramifications are horrific. This law must be stopped,” Jessie Hill, cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Ohio, said.

Preterm-Cleveland, Planned Parenthood Greater Ohio, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation, Toledo Women’s Center, and Dr. Sharon Liner, an individual abortion provider, are a part of the lawsuit.

Dr. David Burkons, the owner and medical director at Northeast Ohio Women’s Center said the abortion ban is a burden on women.

“Now we have women, we don’t see a heartbeat on the first day, but we tell them if you’re not back within two to three days most likely you’re not going to be able to have an abortion in this state,” Burkons said. “Some of these women are going ‘I can’t really take a chance. I’m going to have the abortion.’”

Surrounding states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania have fewer abortion restrictions.

Some will be able to travel out of state, while others don’t have that option.

“I think many of them are going to be forced to try to self-medicate by getting medications online or maybe on the street,” Burkons said. “Some of which will be very normal and work just fine, but some of them are not going to know what they’re doing and they’re going to get the bleeding problems and they’re going to end up in the emergency room and in some cases have very severe side effects and there may be some deaths.”

Burkons’ clinic has added additional hours to help as many women as possible under the latest law. He hopes the lawsuit will give women the time they need to decide what’s best for them.

“We want to help them, but we can’t,” Burkons said. “We will do everything we can in the law to help them, but we will not break the law.”

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