Legislators in Ohio have introduced three new pro-life bills aiming to continue lowering the number of abortions in the state and protecting women and unborn children.
Today, pro-life legislators in both chambers put forward bills that will ban late term abortions, exclude Ohio from abortion coverage in the new federal health care law and strengthen parental consent rights in Ohio.
House Bill 78, the Viable Infants Protection Act, introduced by Representative Joe Uecker and Representative Kristina Roegner, both Republicans, prohibits abortion after 20 weeks when the child is proved to be viable and can live outside the womb.
“The cruel and horrible act of murder called abortion continues to victimize Ohio’s most vulnerable,” said Rep. Uecker. “HB 78 lessens this carnage to the extent allowed by the United State Supreme Court. It is time for Ohio to stand up and protect our unborn children.”
House Bill 79, introduced by Representative Danny Bubp and Representative Uecker, would exclude abortion coverage from the state exchanges created in the national Obamacare health care reform law. The law allows abortion funding but also includes a provision allowing states to opt out of abortion coverage.
“Ohio has prohibited state funds to be used to support elective abortions since the mid 1990’s,” stated Rep. Bubp. “HB 79 is an important step in protecting Ohioans’ tax dollars under the new federal health care law by opting-out Ohio from providing coverage for elective abortions.”
Meanwhile, House Bill 63 and Senate Bill 8 would revise Ohio’s current judicial bypass provision in the parental consent on abortion law. This bill will strengthen current law by requiring a “clear and convincing evidence” standard, require judges to specifically inquire about the minor’s understanding of the possible physical and emotional complications of an abortion, and require judges to question how much the minor has been prepped to respond to such questions.
Representative Ron Young and Representative Lynn Slaby are sponsors of this measure in the House, and Senator Tim Grendell sponsored the bill in the Senate.
“This legislation is sorely needed,” said Rep. Young. “The legislation sponsored by Rep. Slaby and myself will address concerns that some courts are approaching this bypass process with a “rubber-stamp” approval. A minor’s decision to terminate a pregnancy can have immeasurable consequences. It is critical that we do everything possible to allow for meaningful parental input.”
“It is important that Judges are clearly convinced that the child understands the consequences of her actions and that she is doing so without outside faulty influence. This legislation is also important so that the Courts of Appeals can properly review the actions of the trial court,” Rep. Slaby said.
The bills enjoy strong support for Ohio Right to Life, a statewide pro-life group, and Mike Gonidakis, executive director of the organization, urged strong support for them.
“Ohio Right to Life is proud to partner with a dedicated group of pro-life legislators. Ohio is uniquely positioned to enact strong and compassionate laws to help women and the unborn,” he said. “We will work tirelessly to pass these initiatives as they are paramount to strengthening a culture of life in Ohio.”
Several other Ohio pro-life groups have also issued endorsements for the legislation, including Americans United for Life, the Catholic Conference of Ohio, Democrats for Life of Ohio, Ohio Christian Alliance, Priests for Life and the Life Issues Institute.