Medical Technology

Ohio House OKs Bill on Babies Born Alive After Abortion

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio doctors who do not provide medical treatment in the rare event that a baby is born alive after an attempted abortion will face criminal sanctions under legislation approved Wednesday by the Republican-controlled Ohio House.

The bill would also require doctors to report cases where babies are born alive after an abortion or attempted abortion. It also restricts abortion clinics and doctors from teaching at medical schools or hospitals that are funded by the state.

Advocates for the right to abortion have condemned the bill as an attack upon a woman’s legal rights to access the procedure, and claimed that the bill will likely end some of the remaining clinics operating.

Kersha Deibel, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region stated that “right now, we’re at a crisis point in Ohio and across America for abortion access.” “Anti-abortion politicians have made it their mission to bury abortion providers under numerous TRAP laws that providing and accessing health care essential to Ohioans has become an obstacle course.”

TRAP is “targeted restrictions on abortion providers.”

Mary Parker, Ohio Right to Life’s director of legislative affairs she applauded lawmakers for passing this measure. The bill is now sent to Republican Governor. Mike DeWine is an abortion opponent.

“This important anti-infanticide bill will ensure that a child who survives an abortion that is botched receives life-saving treatment,” Parker said in a statement.

Republican state senators backed the measure. Terry Johnson, a retired doctor, and Steve Huffman, a practicing physician. The bill was approved by the Ohio Senate in October.

Huffman has called the bill “another step in our continued commitment to defend the sacredness of human life.”

Ohio law already penalizes doctors who fail to make efforts to save the lives and health of babies born alive following abortions. The bill expanded the law by including the crime of “purposely not taking measures to preserve the health or life of children.”

In cases of procedures in abortion clinics, doctors must provide care to a baby born alive, call 911 and arrange transportation to a hospital under the guidelines.

During testimony, opponents testified that requiring invasive life-saving measures in these cases could take away precious moments from mothers and infants.

Democrats have called the bill a redundant attack on abortion rights, pointing out that doctors already have to provide appropriate medical treatment in all circumstances.

Democratic Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers vetoed last week an identical measure.

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