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A Controversial Amendment Has Been Added To An Ohio Abortion Bill

Legal abortion supporters protest outside the Ohio Statehouse
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Legal abortion supporters protest outside the Ohio Statehouse

Updated October 28, 2021 at 11:11 AM.

An amendment has been added to a bill sponsored by Republicans in the Ohio Senate that would create a new penalty of “abortion manslaughter” that could be used to prosecute doctors who fail to provide medical care to a fetus after an incomplete abortion.

The legislation passed on Wednesday makes it a crime to fail to preserve the health or life of a baby born alive. In cases of procedures in abortion clinics, the proposal requires doctors to provide care to a baby born alive, call 911 and arrange transportation to a hospital.

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.

The legislation would also require doctors to report cases of babies born alive after abortions or attempted abortions. The bill requires the state Department of Health to create a child survival form to be submitted to the agency.

The legislation also bans abortion clinics from working with doctors who teach at state-funded hospitals and medical schools.

“Clearly that’s going to create a serious problem because a lot of physicians work in some public entity of some sort,” said Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati).

Thomas said if the bill passes with this amendment, it will be tough for doctors to perform abortions and clinics might be forced to close.

Thomas also said this amendment would deny women their constitutional rights. Backers of the bill say it doesn’t prosecute the women seeking abortions.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.
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