National and State Experts Weigh In on Pro-life Legislation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Katherine Franklin
DATE: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 PHONE: 614-547-0099 ext. 304
COLUMBUS, Ohio--Today, the House Committee on Community and Family Advancement heard proponent testimony on Ohio Right to Life's Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (SB 127) and legislation to de-fund Planned Parenthood (HB 294). Medical experts Dr. Gary George and Dr. Sheila Page testified that pre-born babies can feel pain by 20 weeks gestation. Anna Higgins, associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, provided legal expertise on the subject, arguing that the legislation is both constitutional and reasonable in light of international norms for abortion legislation.
"Across the last four decades, Roe's viability standard has become increasingly unworkable due to improving standards for neonatal care, as well as our knowledge of a child's life before birth," said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. "We know that pain receptors begin to develop as early as six to seven weeks gestation, and that babies can respond to touch at just eight weeks gestation—months before the 20 week line that we are currently asking this legislature to draw. Our society bears a grave responsibility to respond to this knowledge with empathy and compassion for the unborn."
The committee's hearing on de-funding Planned Parenthood consisted of testimonies from Denise Leipold, executive director of Right to Life of Northeast Ohio; Michelle Welden, former patient of Planned Parenthood of Akron; and Pat Todak of Heartbeat of Toledo. In 2013, Planned Parenthood received $528 million in taxpayer subsidies, while performing 327,653 the same year. In Ohio, Planned Parenthood makes up a third of the state's abortion facilities.
"Planned Parenthood has brought Americans up close and personal with the pain they impose on unborn babies," said Krider. "As Planned Parenthood officials discuss how to 'crush' a child's body to properly preserve her brains and heart for trading purposes, our human decency demands that we stop the crushing. Some will say that it’s not our place—that the legislature cannot insert itself into the doctor’s office. Yet de-funding Planned Parenthood would achieve precisely the opposite result: It would extract the government and pro-lifers like myself from the abortion office."
Ohio Right to Life encourages its members to send a letter of support to their representatives using their Legislative Action Center at ohiolife.org.