The Ohio Legislature advanced a bill this week that could close two abortion facilities responsible for killing thousands of unborn babies in southeastern Ohio.
The Born-Alive Infant Protection Act (Senate Bill 157) passed the state House on Wednesday. While the main focus of the bill is ensuring that unborn babies who survive abortions receive medical care, it also includes a provision involving abortion facilities being prepared to help women suffering from emergency complications.
According to Cleveland.com, that provision could force the Women’s Med Center in Dayton and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio in Cincinnati to close.
Ohio requires abortion facilities to have transfer agreements with local hospitals for the purposes of treating patients suffering from serious complications. However, abortion facilities may request a variance allowing them to have consulting agreements with local doctors instead.
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The bill amends the variance provision by prohibiting abortion facilities from having consulting agreements with doctors who work for taxpayer-funded hospitals, universities or other public institutions, according to the report.
Both the Women’s Med Center and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio operate under this variance. If the bill becomes law, as appears likely, the Ohio Department of Health could revoke their licenses unless they find other doctors or hospitals to work with.
If they close, Cincinnati would be “the biggest metropolitan in Ohio without an abortion provider,” according to Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio.
The abortion chain admitted that there is a strong likelihood that both abortion facilities could close as a result of the legislation, but it also hinted at filing a lawsuit to fight the change, the Ohio Capitol Journal reports.
“Stripping abortion care from Southwest Ohio will cause havoc that disproportionately impacts our communities,” said Kersha Deibel, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio. “This isn’t the end, and we will continue to fight — abortion is still legal in Ohio.”
Several Democrat lawmakers tried to amend the bill to remove the variance change, but the amendment failed, according to the Journal.
“As a reminder to my colleagues, these consulting physicians that are required in order to get a variance from these transfer agreements, do not actually perform abortion services,” said state Rep. Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, who proposed the amendment. “They are only consulted by the facility in the very rare case when there is an emergency and the need to transfer a patient to the hospital. This body could be solving problems, not making them worse.”
Mary Parker, director of legislative affairs at Ohio Right to Life, told LifeNews that they believe Gov. Mike DeWine will sign the bill into law.
“No baby in Ohio, regardless of the circumstances surrounding his or her birth, should be left alone to die,” Parker said. “This vital anti-infanticide legislation will ensure that a baby who survives a botched abortion receives life-saving care. It will also hold abortionists accountable by establishing a reporting requirement to document when a child is born alive after an attempted abortion. Ohio Right to Life will continue to advocate for the right to life of every defenseless child, both born and unborn.”
Along with the variance changes, the pro-life bill would create 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.