ACLU sues over abortion provisions in Ohio budget

Three contentious abortion-related provisions of Ohio’s budget violate a constitutional rule holding bills to a single subject, the American Civil Liberties Union argued in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
Associated Press
Oct 10, 2013


The lawsuit was filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on behalf of Preterm, a Cleveland women’s health clinic that provides contraception, pregnancy counseling and abortions.

It targets three amendments included in the $62 billion, two-year operating budget passed by lawmakers in June, maintaining they violate the state Constitution’s “single subject” rule.

One bans public hospitals from making transfer agreements with abortion clinics. Another requires clinics to present patients with evidence of a fetal heartbeat and other set information before performing an abortion, or face criminal penalties. A third funnels state money to private groups prohibited from mentioning abortion services as part of a “parenting and pregnancy” program.

“None of these amendments have any place in the state budget bill,” said Susan Scheutzow, an ACLU cooperating attorney and partner at Kohrman Jackson & Krantz. “This massive bill is not intended to deal with new policy. The single subject of the budget should be the appropriation of funds for existing government programs or obligations.”

Single-subject rules exist to avoid complexity in legislation, to prevent unintended consequences and to keep lawmakers from tucking items into bills without the knowledge of the public or at times legislative colleagues.

But the president of Ohio Right to Life said the single-subject rule isn’t really motivating the legal action.

“It has nothing to do with the Ohio Constitution,” the president, Mike Gonidakis, said in a statement. “This is nothing more than a pro-abortion legal stunt by the ACLU, which ultimately will cost Ohio taxpayers significantly.”

Ohio Democrats and other abortion rights advocates repeatedly have sought to call out Republicans who lead both legislative chambers for slipping the abortion provisions into the budget at the last minute. Many of the provisions — including the effective defunding of Planned Parenthood, which is not cited in the lawsuit — were contained in bills pending at the time.

Last week, a rally opposing the provisions drew at least several hundred protesters to the Statehouse, including the national presidents of the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Gonidakis said the wish of advocates is “abortionon-demand,” a phrase whose use is growing among abortion foes in Ohio as the fight over the budget amendments intensifies.

“This lawsuit contradicts itself,” he said. “On the one hand, the ACLU claims the budget ‘should be’ for appropriating funds and, on the other hand, they claim that they do not like how the funds are appropriated.”


thinkagain's picture

The crowning achievement of the Democrat party, is when a baby gets it's limbs ripped off and it's skull crushed in.

doggie mom

Abortion is NOT an easy choice. It is usually choosen by someone who is scared and backed into a corner by their life's situations. I am so sick of hearing about what happens before a child is born! When every child is taken care of, fed, educated and not murdered by a drug/alcohol guzzling parent or current sex partner of parent and there is no welfare for multi partnered mommies with no job then tell me someone else can make decisions for my uterus!




Gee, you're having a hissy-fit over the government telling you to buy health insurance and yet it's a-ok to tell a woman what she can or can't do with her own body. Grow a brain will ya?


The trouble with this is that the woman isn't making a decision on her body alone. From conception, you are making the decision for two people. One of whom has no voice in the matter. If you are old enough and wise enough to make the choice, then you should be smart enough not to get pregnant in the first place.


It is still not your choice, it is their choice. You people always think you have the answers for someone else. You despise abortion and want to deny any help to the mother or child. You can't have it both ways!

The Big Dog's back

Plus they don't want people to have health insurance. Right wingnuts.

SemperFi 1775

If you support it or not, you deserve to be informed as to the status of this matter in our state. search for The

The fact is, unlike cigarettes, alcohol and McDonald's, there is a therapeutic value to marijuana. Dr.'s prescribe chemically created pills given to everyone to included the legislatures, law enforcement and the judges that are paid by our taxes to "fight this war on drugs."

Our state is fighting to legalize marijuana for therapeutic uses in 2014 and benefit from the industrial uses of Hemp.

BE Informed


What does this have to do with the subject? Unless you are saying that if you smoke pot, it makes you smarter.


You should try it and relax a little!


lolololol deertracker! Truly, too many corn shocks up the rear... :}

Truth or Dare

Crowning achievement for Republicans in many states and coming soon to Ohio, which by the way affects women with their own insurance, are laws either introduced/slipped/snuck in to take away a woman's right to the ACCESS of BIRTH CONTROL to prevent unwanted pregnancies, birth control that would PREVENT having to make such a decision as abortion. But hey, we'll funnel more money into the pockets of private orgs. that support such thinking. By the way, I'm not Pro-Abortion, I'm Pro-Choice in regards to any woman's right to pro-create, or not!

thinkagain's picture

You are either for or against the killing of the unborn. You can’t salve your conscience by using a euphemism like “pro-choice".


You only get to control the body you were born with!

The Big Dog's back

Excellent answer deertracker.

thinkagain's picture

Glad to see you both agree with me!!! The mother can do what she wants with her body. To “control”: (mutilate) the body of her unborn is murder.


Same goes for "pro-life". Complete misnomer, it should be "pro-birth" because they have demonstrated time and again that they couldn't care less what happens to you afterwards.

Pterocarya frax...

Or to put it another way: They love fetuses, but children...not so much.

doggie mom


Hollie Newton

Don't like abortion, don't have one. But if you think you can 'outlaw' it - think again. Rich women will ALWAYS be able to pay a doctor for an abortion. And poor women will be forced to go back to the back alleys of decades ago and suffer the consequences.

I do not see this as progress.


Peggy Goldwater/Phoenix Mother's Health Clinic.

Truth or Dare

Forgive the euphemism thinkagain, to put it plain, I'm for Personal Choice, so that abortion doesn't end up having to be one of them! My conscience is clear on that. How bout you, you agree with the methods being used to take away access to birth control, thus preventing abortions? How bout all the tax $$$$'s being funneled into private orgs., churches included that lobby on the hill to push for that access being denied. You support that?

thinkagain's picture

You’re still ducking the abortion question, do you or don’t you approve of the slaughter of the unborn?

You know my answer… there is nothing that justifies taking the life of an innocent human being.

What I’m for, is the same as what my Father in heaven is for, abstinence until marriage. If a man and a women choose to use birth control, they should pay for it.

The government should not be violating religious freedom and forcing taxpayers and business owners who have a religious objection to birth control, to pay for it. Our country was founded on this freedom.

A drug that alters the normal biology of the female body is not "health care”.

By the time the Obama admin gets done, there will be no rights that come from God, only the State who will give and take as it desires.


Thinkagain, you truly are ignorant about the role of oral contraceptives. Do you have any idea how many teens and women are prescribed them not to prevent pregnancy, but because of debilitating menstrual problems? The fact that they also prevent pregnancy is secondary. So that is absolutely healthcare, and no one has any business telling a woman that it isn't. And it is no one's business except a woman and her doctor as to why she is prescribed contraceptives. So are you suggesting an employer has the right to access an employee's confidential health records?

And according to the Constitution, only those already BORN have rights. If you have a problem with that, blame the Founding Fathers!