State Watch

Ohio governor signs ‘born-alive’ abortion measure into law

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed a bill into law Wednesday that requires doctors to try to save the life of a baby who is born alive after an attempted abortion or face criminal charges.

Senate Bill 157, called the “Born-Alive Infant Protection Act” by supporters, also mandates that doctors report all instances in which a baby is born alive after an attempted abortion. And it prohibits clinics that perform abortions from working with doctors who teach at medical schools affiliated with state universities or other public institutions. 

The bill would require doctors to complete a “child survival form” or face a third-degree felony.

“Gov. DeWine and Ohio Republican legislators have been courageous advocates for the most vulnerable among us, the unborn,” Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Paduchik said in a statement obtained by the Cincinnati Enquirer

Opponents of the bill argue that it restricts access to abortion by threatening and intimidating physicians.

“At this moment, we’re at a crisis point for abortion access in Ohio and across the country,” Kersha Deibel, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, said in a statement Wednesday. “Anti-abortion politicians have made it their job to bury abortion providers under so many TRAP laws [targeted restrictions on abortion providers] that providing and accessing essential health care to Ohioans has become an obstacle course.” 

DeWine signed a “heartbeat bill” into law in April 2019 that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, but it is currently on hold due to a federal lawsuit. Texas signed its own “heartbeat bill” into law earlier this year, prompting widespread backlash from pro-abortion rights advocates as well as an array of copycat proposals from other Republican-controlled states. 

Ohio already bans abortions after 20 weeks of gestation.

The Supreme Court is currently weighing challenges to Roe v. Wade, which, if the precedent is struck down, could result in more than 65 million women losing access to abortion in their home states. 

Tags Abortion abortion restrictions heartbeat bill Mike DeWine Ohio Roe v. Wade

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