The 6th. Circuit Court of Appeals, last Monday, certified an almost 4-year old Planned Parenthood case centering around RU-486, a drug used to induced abortions, and the Ohio statute passed in June 2004 specifically prohibiting its use, to the Supreme Court. (Article)
HB 126 was passed by the General Assembly four years ago to the day yesterday, becoming ORC § 2919.123. Planned Parenthood, however, filed a complaint in Southern Ohio District Court, winning a preliminary injunction against its going into effect Sept. 23, 2004, on grounds that it was void for vagueness, and unconstitutional on two other points. That was appealed in 2006.
The Appeals Court held that the district court’s primary holding was in error but affirmed its reasoning and remanded the case “for the appropriate scope of injunctive relief in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.” The district court now found for Planned Parenthood, granting a permanent injunction against the State’s enforcing the statute.
Now, as the Sixth Circuit put it, “both the State and Planned Parenthood have presented contrary, yet plausible, interpretations of ORC §2919.123 that they respectively believe would save the statute from unconstitutionality…. Both Planned Parenthood and the State encouraged this court to speculate on how the Supreme Court of Ohio would interpret the statute as opposed to seeking an authoritative interpretation from the high court via certification. In our opinion, however, the interests of judicial federalism and comity strongly counsel in favor of providing the Supreme Court with the opportunity to interpret that statute..”