A new lawsuit from Republicans asks the Ohio Supreme Court to block the abortion rights amendment from the November ballot.
The legal challenge, filed Friday, argues that abortion rights petitions failed to list the state laws that would be repealed or changed if the constitutional amendment took effect.
According to the lawsuit, those laws include a ban on doctors performing abortions after cardiac activity is detected; a ban on abortions after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome; and parental consent for abortions.
Attorney Curt Hartman filed the challenge on behalf of two Republicans: former state Rep. Tom Brinkman from Cincinnati and ex-legislative candidate Jenn Giroux. They asked the Ohio Supreme Court to invalidate the petitions and prohibit the measure from appearing on the Nov. 7 ballot.
The legal challenge comes three days after the Ohio Secretary of State’s office approved the amendment for the November ballot, certifying that advocates cleared the required number of valid signatures to put the issue before voters.
Abortion rights activists call the lawsuit a “dirty trick.”
“Anti-choice extremists know they can’t win at the ballot box, so they are resorting to dirty tricks to try to silence the voices of Ohioans,” said Lauren Blauvelt, spokesperson for Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights. “A clear majority of Ohioans support reproductive freedom, so we expected desperate challenges like this one.”
Blauvelt said they expect the challenge to be rejected.
“When is asking you to comply with the law a dirty trick,” Hartman responded.
This is the second lawsuit Hartman has filed to block the abortion rights amendment. In March, he argued that the Ohio Ballot Board, a five-member body tasked with approving ballot language, should have broken up the abortion rights measure into multiple amendments. The court ultimately ruled the ballot board had done its job.
Jessie Balmert is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: GOP lawsuit seeks to boot abortion rights measure from November ballot