by Steven Ertelt
May 6, 2005
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — New legislation in Ohio would place limits on any surgical abortions or ones inducted by the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 in public hospitals. The bill enjoys the support of Ohio Right to Life.
Rep. Michelle Schneider, a Cincinnati Republican, introduced the measure, which would also prohibit local governments from using taxpayer funds to pay for abortions in worker health insurance plans, except in cases to prevent the death of the mother.
"The intent is that taxpayers who are very opposed to that aren’t paying for someone’s abortion," Denise Mackura, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, told the Dayton Daily News.
The bill also includes policy language saying that the state of Ohio prefers childbirth instead of abortion. Mackura said the language was important to send a signal to courts and doctors that the state does not endorse abortion, even though a Supeme Court decision allows it.
"For a lot of women, (the legality of abortion) gives them sort of a go-ahead," she told the Dayton newspaper. "What we’re trying to say is abortion is never a good thing to do. … There are resources available (to help pregnant women.)"
There are 20 hospitals in the state that are publicly owned. Some of those include Ohio State Medical Center in Columbus, Metro Health Medical Center in Cleveland and four Veterans Affairs hospitals, including one in Dayton.
Those hospitals would only be able to allow abortions to occur there in very rare cases where necessary to save the life of the mother, such as some ectopic pregnancy situations.
Some 50 lawmakers in the 99-member state House have signed on to the bill, indicating it has strong support and will likely head to the Senate.
However, Gary Dougherty, director the Ohio affiliate of Planned Parenthood, said the abortion business would oppose the measure. He claimed it would take away a woman’s abortion option.
Schneider’s bill would have no effect on the abortions that qualify for taxpayer funding under the state’s Medicaid plan, which covers poor Ohio residents. The state currently pays for abortions in cases of rape or incest and preventing the mother’s death.
Earlier this year, a federal judge blocked enforcement of an Ohio law that requires abortion practitioners to adhere to safety guidelines issued by the Food and Drug Administration when dispensing the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug. The law was scheduled to take effect today.
Under the measure, it would have been a crime to prescribe the abortion drug to women who are more than seven weeks pregnant, fulfilling a recommendation by the FDA. The law also says only doctors can prescribe the abortion drug.
Pro-life advocates say Planned Parenthood is ignoring dangers associated with the abortion drug — including death of a California teenager who died from an infection as a result of using the two-part drug and another teen in Sweden.
Planned Parenthood has come under fire for disregarding several FDA suggestions to increase safety and misuses an ulcer drug to complete the abortion process.
Searle, the maker of the drug, issued a nationwide letter to doctors saying it is not intended to produce an abortion and using it as such places women’s health at risk.
Related web sites:
Ohio Right to Life – https://www.ohiolife.org