Ohio Legislature Passes Bill to Require Life-Saving Treatment for Babies Who Survive Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 16, 2021   |   12:47PM   |   Columbus, Ohio

A bill on its way to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk this week will ensure that babies who survive abortions receive life-saving medical care.

The Springfield News Sun reports the state Senate gave final approval of the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act (state Senate Bill 157) Wednesday after the state House passed it with several minor changes earlier this month. DeWine, a pro-life Republican, is expected to sign the legislation.

“This bill will make sure that newborn infants are cared for, no matter what the circumstances of their birth,” Ohio Right to Life responded on Twitter after the vote. “Thank you @SenateGOP and @HouseGOP for your pro-life support!”

The pro-life legislation requires doctors to provide the same medical care to a baby who survives an abortion that they would to any other infant born at the same gestational age. According to the Ohio Capital Journal, it also expands the criminal definition of manslaughter to include abortionists who neglect to provide medical care to a baby who is born alive in an abortion. Those who fail to do so could face felony charges.

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Additionally, it sets up a reporting requirement through the Ohio Department of Health to keep track of how many babies survive abortions each year.

While the main focus of the bill is protecting babies who survive abortions from neglect, 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. A variance allows abortion facilities to have consulting agreements with local doctors instead.

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 both close, Cincinnati would be “the biggest metropolitan in Ohio without an abortion provider,” according to Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio.

Mary Parker, director of legislative affairs at Ohio Right to Life, expressed confidence that the governor will sign the life-saving 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.”