A pro-life bill that passed the Ohio Senate this week could cause two abortion facilities to close.
Cleveland.com reports two abortion facilities in Dayton and Cincinnati are at risk if the legislation passes the state House, which appears likely.
The legislation, state Senate Bill 157, creates penalties for abortionists who fail to preserve the health or life of a child who survives an abortion. It also would require abortionists to report to the Ohio Department of Health when a baby is born alive in a botched abortion.
But an amendment added Wednesday prior to the Senate vote is what Democrat lawmakers are complaining could close abortion facilities.
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According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the amendment would prohibit abortion facilities from working with doctors at state taxpayer-funded hospitals and medical schools. The report identified the Planned Parenthood Mount Auburn Health Center and Women’s Med in Dayton as abortion facilities that may close as a result of the amendment.
State Sen. Cecil Thomas, D-Cincinnati, criticized the amendment because it could restrict abortion access in southern Ohio, the Statehouse News Bureau reports.
“Clearly that’s going to create a serious problem because a lot of physicians work in some public entity of some sort,” Thomas said.
Here’s more from the report:
Thomas says this amendment would deny women their constitutional rights. But backers of the bill say it doesn’t prosecute the women seeking abortions. For years Ohio has required facilities that perform abortions to have transfer agreements with nearby hospitals. At least one clinic has a waiver that was issued when it couldn’t comply with that rule. Thomas says if the bill passes with this amendment, it will be tough for doctors to perform abortions, and clinics might be forced to close.
But state Sen. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, defended the amendment, saying: “Their variance has been on the ropes for several years. The taxpayers do not want their money going to abortion.”
Transfer agreements with hospitals are basic safety regulations that protect women who suffer serious complications from abortions. They help ensure that the woman or a baby who survies an abortion receives immediate and continuous care both at the abortion facility and the hospital.
Ohio Right to Life supports the legislation. After the state Senate vote, Allie Frazier, director of communications at Ohio Right to Life, said the bill establishes a much-needed reporting requirement to document when a child is born alive from a botched abortion.
“Ohio Right to Life applauds Senator Huffman and Senator Johnson, both of whom are licensed physicians in Ohio, for their incredible pro-life leadership,” she said. “No baby in Ohio, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their birth, should be left alone to die. This vital anti-infanticide legislation will ensure that no baby who survives a botched abortion is denied life-saving care.”
In 2020, 20,605 unborn babies were aborted in Ohio, according to state health statistics.