Justice Sharon Kennedy

Kennedy Investigation: More than 50 individuals and organizations have asked the Office of Disciplinary Counsel to investigate Justice Sharon Kennedy. They allege she violated the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct.

The allegations stem from a speech Justice Kennedy delivered at a fundraiser for Greater Toledo Right to Life. The high court is slated to hear oral arguments in a case that could shutter Toledo’s only remaining abortion clinic.

“The executive and legislative branches in Ohio have passed a series of laws that compromise women’s health,” Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said in a statement. “The judicial branch must be beyond reproach.”

In a letter to the office, the individuals and groups write that Justice Kennedy should have canceled her speech or recused herself from the case, which centers on the state’s law requiring abortion clinics to have transfer agreements with local hospitals.

“The reason major medical groups oppose these restrictions is because they can hurt women’s health. There is no medical basis to require abortion providers to have local hospital admitting privileges. Emergency room physicians already provide appropriate treatment to all patients with urgent medical needs, including those rare cases of abortion-related complications,” said Dr. Catherine Romanos, a family doctor from Columbus.

“There also is no medically sound reason for Ohio to impose more stringent requirements on abortion facilities than on other medical facilities that perform procedures with similar, or even greater, risks.”

For more information contact:
Michael R. Smalz
Senior Attorney
Ohio Poverty Law Center
1108 City Park Avenue, Ste. 200
Columbus, Ohio 43206
email: msmalz@ohiopovertylaw.org

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