Legislation to Protect Pain-Capable Babies from Abortion in Ohio
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Katherine Franklin
DATE: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 PHONE: (614) 547-0099 ext. 304
COLUMBUS, Ohio--Today, the Ohio Senate passed Ohio Right to Life's premier legislation for 2015, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.B. 127), 23-9. This legislation prohibits abortions in Ohio at the point at which pre-born babies can feel pain, which starts no later than 20 weeks gestation. The legislation is sponsored by Senators Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and Jay Hottinger (R-Newark). Between the House and Senate, thirty-three legislators are co-sponsors of the legislation which was approved this morning by the Committee on Health and Human Services, 7-2.
"With the Ohio Senate, we are leading Ohio down a historic path that is redefining the abortion debate in America," said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. "With this momentous vote, the Ohio Senate just approved legislation that will help Ohio catch up to the international community's restrictions on abortion. Ohio Right to Life is grateful to Senate President Keith Faber, Chairwoman Shannon Jones, and bill sponsors Peggy Lehner and Jay Hottinger for their tremendous pro-life leadership on this legislation."
The U.S. is one of seven countries, including North Korea and China, that allows abortions after 20 weeks. In November 2014, The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 60% of Americans would support prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks, while only 33% opposed such legislation. Women voters strongly support such a law by 59-35%, while independent voters supported it by 56-36%. As of 2011, abortions in Ohio are prohibited at 24 weeks or the point of viability, which must be tested for at 20 weeks gestation. Over the last month, Ohio Right to Life has collaborated with medical experts and pro-life advocates to present proponent testimony on its legislation. Before today's vote, Denise Leipold, executive director of Right to Life of Northeast Ohio, and Judy Bruns, past president of Mercer County Right to Life and board trustee of Teachers Saving Children, Inc., testified in favor of the bill.
"Ohio is poised to make a real difference in how we promote and protect the dignity of every human life in our state," said Krider. "Ohio Right to Life is eager to continue work on this critical legislation and future legislation until every unborn baby is spared the pain and horror of being dismembered in the womb."
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed similar legislation under Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). This month, the legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate, with U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) signing on as a co-sponsor. Support for the legislation has quickly become the new pro-life "litmus test" for Republican presidential contenders, all of whom have endorsed the bill.
Sponsors & Co-Sponsors of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 45 chapters and local affiliates, is Ohio's oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death.