Legislature Approves Bill to Ban Abortions When Unborn Babies Feel Pain, or 20 weeks
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Katherine Franklin
DATE: Thursday, December 8, 2016 PHONE: 614-547-0099 ext. 304
COLUMBUS, Ohio--Today, the Ohio House and Senate approved the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.B. 127), landmark legislation which poses a historic challenge to Roe v. Wade. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor John Kasich who has signed 17 Ohio Right to Life-supported measures since 2011. The legislation would prohibit abortions at the time in pregnancy that a child can feel pain, or 20 weeks gestation, challenging the 24-week “viability” limitation set in Roe. Since 2010, 15 states have passed similar legislation, and pro-life leaders in Congress have attempted to pass a federal version. In Ohio, 478 abortions occurred after 19 weeks gestation in 2015 alone. The legislation is sponsored by Senators Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and Jay Hottinger (R-Newark).
"With the passage of this legislation, Ohio has taken a momentous step on the path to overturning Roe," said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. "When enacted, this legislation will immediately begin saving hundreds of babies throughout Ohio, and be a part of a national movement that will save thousands of lives. By protecting children who can feel pain from the brutal practice of abortion, Ohio is challenging the archaic, arbitrary framework set up by 7 activist judges more than 40 years ago."
Currently, Ohio prohibits abortions at 24 weeks gestation, or the point of viability. Ohio Right to Life argues that the viability standard, set in Roe v. Wade, has become increasingly unworkable as more and more babies are surviving premature births before the 24-week mark. Additionally, most Americans support a 20-week ban. 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%.
"This historic moment is a critical step in the national effort to redefine the abortion debate and expand protections for the unborn," said Gonidakis. "In the age of 4D ultrasounds and even 3D printed ultrasounds, abortion simply isn't the 'unknown' that it once was for Americans. We know that at this stage in pregnancy, these children are literally dismembered limb-by-limb and that the child has pain receptors present throughout her entire body. Ohio is eager to take the lead in rejecting this practice and leading the United States down a humane path that protects the most vulnerable among us.”
On behalf of our board, our affiliates and our statewide members, Ohio Right to Life thanks Ohio’s bi-partisan pro-life leaders for passing this historic legislation:
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.
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I don’t get it. By this very argument, ORTL is inviting SCOTUS to tweak Roe v. Wade (as happened in the 1992 Casey decision) to set back the viability line from 24 weeks to 20 weeks, rather than to overturn Roe v. Wade. The reasoning behind this would be underscored by the failure of even OHRTL to support the Heartbeat Bill just passed, which bill is also awaiting Gov. Kasich’s signature—or veto.