In a 59-to-33 vote at the Ohio House, Senate Bill 157 was passed to require doctors to perform life-saving medical care on infants that survive failed abortions. The new law would effectively close abortion clinics in Dayton and Cincinnati as well.
According to Cleveland.com, the Senate Bill 157, which was passed largely along party lines, is now on its way to the Ohio Senate where it is expected to be voted on following technical changes made in the Ohio House. Once the Senate approves the changes, the bill will then head to Republican Gov. Mike DeWine's desk for signature. The bill was co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Stephen Huffman.
"Ohio is a pro-life state. Senate Bill 157 is another step in our continued commitment to uphold the sanctity of human life," Sen. Huffman said in October, as per Spectrum News. "Regardless of what side of the abortion debate you are on, we can all agree that newborns deserve proper medical care and compassion."
According to WND, the bill also includes a stipulation that sparked backlash from abortion advocates. Senate Bill 157 includes a stipulation that abortion providers must not have links to state universities or colleges. If the bill is passed by the Ohio senate and governor, it could result in the shut down of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio and Women's Med Center in Dayton, two abortion facilities whose doctors are state-funded.
"It's appalling. This is a targeted effort to further stigmatize abortion with blatant disregard for the thousands of Ohioans' access to health care it could affect," Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio Region President and CEO Kersha Deibel lamented.
Abortion rights advocates claim that no infants actually die from failed abortions in Ohio because the state prohibits abortions at 20 weeks of gestation, a period when a fetus cannot survive outside the womb. However Sen. Huffman and another co-sponsor Sen. Terry Johnson cited research from the Family Research Council, which said that 2003 and 2014, at least 143 infants died after being born alive during an abortion procedure, but died because they were not given life-saving treatment.
"The Ohio Legislature sent a strong message today that every child's life is valuable, no matter their size, ability, or location," the Center for Christian Virtue Legislative Liaison Nilani Jawahar remarked. "By passing SB 157, the Legislature also protected Ohio taxpayers by ensuring that our state has nothing to do with the destruction of our most vulnerable, the unborn."
Violators of Senate Bill 157, once passed, will be charged with first-degree felony. However, some doctors raised concernes that the pro-life bill may impact mothers who miscarry a baby they want to carry to full term. The doctors claim that miscarried babies may be taken away by doctors for medical interventions rather in the arms of mothers who want to hold their child while grieving their loss.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that this is the very same concern fetal medicine specialist Dr. Mae-Lan Winchester raised during a House committee hearing earlier this month. The doctor lamented, "You cannot imagine the pain my patients feel when making these heartbreaking decisions. This law could threaten my patients' abilities to choose the care they feel is right for their family."
It's worth noting that abortion activists --those who don't want Roe v. Wade overturned and abortion outlawed-- have been spreading lies claiming moms who miscarry will be investigated on for their miscarriages. These activists, per earlier reports, are "stirring up unfounded fears."
Pro-lifers "do not and never have punished women" even before the Supreme Court's decision on Roe v. Wade in 1973, earlier reports indicate. Abortion activists, however, see pro-lifers' efforts to overturn Roe "as a matter of control" and would attempt to sway vulnerable women to believe what they believe.