Two controversial anti-abortion bills cleared the Senate Health Committee on Tuesday, including one that mandates doctors provide pregnant women seeking medication-induced abortions to be told how to reverse the termination.
Senate Bill 155, sponsored by state Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, would require physicians to give patients a link to information about the “abortion pill reversal treatment” — taking progesterone before taking the second medication in a two-step drug-induced abortion.
Dr. Anita Somani, an Ob/Gyn in Columbus, said the bill is unethical, dangerous and medically inaccurate.
“Senate Bill 155 wages a dangerous misinformation campaign whose only apparent goal seems to be misleading and coercing patients who are making a private medical decision, and opening abortion providers to costly litigation,” said Dr. Somani.
The committee voted 8-4 in favor of the bill, setting it up for a possible floor vote in the coming days.
The committee also voted 9-3 in favor of Senate Bill 208, which would require health care providers to administer medical care to an infant that survives an attempted abortion, give the mother the right to sue the person who fails to provide that care, and require doctors to report to the state instances of an attempted abortion results in a live birth.
Current state law prohibits abortions after 20 weeks gestation.
Lehner described “very unusual circumstances but perfectly possible” circumstances in which a doctor miscalculates the actual weeks gestation and attempts an abortion at 24 weeks and a baby could be viable.
Advocates for access to abortion services say the bill is unnecessary since failure to provide medical care is already a felony. Opponents of abortion say more protections are needed in state law.
In April, Ohio passed a new law that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks gestation before a woman may know she is pregnant. The law has been put on hold while it is contested in federal court.
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