Circuit Court Defends Ohio Legislature – Sort Of

We talked yesterday about Australia’s battle with RU-486. That battle rages closer to home.

The Ohio Legislature took action to protect the health of women and girls from the risks of RU-486. The law there prohibits physicians from using the drug regimen in any way not approved by the Food & Drug Administration. According to attorneys for the Liberty Counsel, doctors can use FDA-approved drugs any way they want for their patients – unless state regulations say otherwise.

Hence, the Ohio law prohibits physicians from prescribing the drug for abortions after seven weeks; and it required the drug be used orally. Some researchers believe that the misuse of RU-486 is the cause of eight deaths and over 850 injuries to women in the United States alone.

Planned Parenthood, that guardian of women’s interests, filed suit. It wants carte blanche to use sell the drug without government interference. And, naturally enough, they found a federal district judge to agree that Ohio’s safety regulations were “unconstitutional”.

But, don’t give in to complete despair over the state of our judiciary. An appeals panel has ordered the district court to revisit the issue, finding that not every abortion statute must contain a so-called “health” exception. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals also relied heavily on the new Supreme Court ruling in the New Hampshire case – which requires federal courts to stop the practice of automatically striking down state abortion laws if they find some relatively minor defect.

It is grinding progress – but progress nevertheless. This 6th Circuit ruling may eventually be helpful as Idaho wrestles with our own federal judges over Parental Consent.


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