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Another bill restricting abortion passes Ohio House

abortion opponents (front row) and abortion rights supporters (dressed as Handmaids in back) listen to testimony on an abortion bill in a committee at the Ohio Legislature
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
abortion opponents (front row) and abortion rights supporters (dressed as Handmaids in back) listen to testimony on an abortion bill in a committee at the Ohio Legislature

The bill would require doctors to provide medical care if a potentially viable birth results from an abortion.

The Ohio House passed the bill along party lines with Republicans who support it saying it is needed to protect babies. But Democrats say it will hurt women with difficult pregnancies or deliveries. And they warn it will have unintended consequences.

Under this bill, doctors could be charged with a felony and pay fines if they fail to provide medical care to an infant born as the result of a botched abortion. But Dr. Beth Liston (D-Dublin), a practicing physician and Ohio House Democrat, says that’s not likely to happen since abortion is illegal in most cases at 20 weeks of gestation.

“There are no elective abortions after 20 weeks of fertilization in this state. The only situations this bill impacts are those emergency circumstances where the woman’s life is at risk or there is a serious complication with the fetus," Liston says.

Liston’s amendment to remove the criminal penalties from the bill failed along with a handful of others proposed by Democrats. The bill also makes changes to variances for transfer agreements that abortion clinics often need to operate. And because of that provision, Kersha Deibel of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region says clinics in her area will have a hard time continuing to operate.

Statement from Kersha Deibel, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio
Statement from Kersha Deibel, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio

But Ohio Right to Life praises the bill and the Republican lawmakers who were key to its passage.

Statement from Mary Parker, Ohio Right to Life
Ohio Right to Life
/
Statement from Mary Parker, Ohio Right to Life

It is likely Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will sign the bill into law.

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