Ohio Senate: No Abortions in Public Hospitals, Insurance Plans

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 7, 2011   |   5:50PM   |   Columbus, OH

The Ohio state Senate today approved two amendments requested by a statewide pro-life organization seeking to protect Buckeye State residents from having to fork out taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.

This afternoon, state senators accepted two pro-life amendments that will ban non-therapeutic abortions in publicly funded facilities and further protect taxpayer dollars from paying for abortion. The Senate Finance Committee voted to include the Ohio Right to Life amendments to House Bill 153 which is expected to advance this week.

Designed to withstand pro-abortion challenges, both Ohio Right to Life amendments mandate measures to prevent state funding for non-therapeutic abortions. The first bans abortions from being performed in public hospitals. The second prohibits abortion coverage in insurance plans of local public employees.

“Countless times, the citizens of Ohio have stated that they do not want their tax dollars paying for abortion,” says Ohio Right to Life Executive Director, Mike Gonidakis. “These measures will ensure that Ohioans’ tax dollars will be protected.”

Gonidakis said, “Ohio Right to Life expresses its gratitude to the Ohio Senate for their courage to stand up for the unborn and to defend the conscience rights of Ohio taxpayers. We thank Senate President Tom Niehaus (R – New Richmond), Senator Kris Jordan (R – Powell) and all state senators who stand for protecting women and supporting life. Ohio Right to Life and the pro-life people of Ohio have confidence that their legislators will continue to be steadfast in their commitment to vote for life.”

But, he said abortion advocates are working feverishly to get the amendments removed from the legislation.

“In an attempt to remove these pro-life amendments, Planned Parenthood is rallying pro-abortion Ohioans to call expressing opposition to these amendments,” he informed LifeNews.  “While today’s vote is a milestone in our journey and we are grateful to the men and women who have carried the pro-life voice at the Statehouse, we must continue to communicate the urgency of passing pro-life legislation to our office holders.”

Ohio right to Life is urging calls for the pro-life amendments and also asking pro-life Ohio residents to urge state legislative leaders to schedule a vote for House Bill 78 to ban late-term abortion and House Bill 79 to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion. The Ohio House Health and Aging Committee approved the bill in March.

In April, the Ohio Senate passed the late-term abortion ban 24 to 8 vote with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The Late-Term Abortion Ban would require physicians to test the viability of an unborn child if the mother were seeking an abortion at 20 weeks or later into her pregnancy.  If the child is found to be able to live outside the mother’s womb, the abortion cannot be performed, except in circumstances where the pregnancy is a threat to the mother’s health. The measure also contains language making it clear a mental health exception can’t be used to get around the ban — especially since a substantial amount of research shows abortions pose mental health risks for women.