Most abortion services in Ohio will be able to proceed during the coronavirus pandemic, a federal appeals court ruled.
The ruling, handed down on Monday by the United States Sixth Court of Appeals for the Sixth District, dismisses Ohio's request to overturn a lower court decision preventing the state from shutting down six clinics that perform surgical abortions.
The three-judge panel said that "surgical abortions if they can induce the same abortion medicinally or perform abortions that can be delayed without jeopardizing the mother's health, life, or ability to exercise her Fourteenth Amendment right to a pre-viability abortion."
Bethany McCorkle, an Ohio Attorney General's Office spokesperson, viewed that ruling as one that "rejected the abortion providers' argument that every surgical abortion is medically necessary."
She added in an email to CBS News: "That is a win in every respect that matters."
In March, Ohio was the first state in the country to call abortions "non-essential" surgeries, causing them to be halted. Other states throughout the south and midwest with anti-abortion leanings took Ohio's lead and did the same.
Last week, a lower court judge put in place a 14-day temporary restraining order allowing abortion providers to decide on a case-by-case basis if they can safely terminate pregnancies.
This latest ruling upholds that judgement, giving doctors the ability to perform the procedure if it is "medically indicated and cannot be delayed, based on the timing of pre-viability or other medical conditions."
The ruling allows medicinal abortions to continue. Those are available through 10 weeks of pregnancy.
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