Anti-abortion demonstrators march. (Photo by Robert Zullo/ States Newsroom).
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a new abortion law on Wednesday that looks likely to close Southwest Ohio abortion clinics.
DeWine signed Senate Bill 157 without further comment, along with several other bills that passed through the legislature in their last work week before the holidays.
The bill was condemned by abortion providers, who said not only that portions of the bill that direct doctors on the amount of care they should give babies born as a result of a “failed abortion” are already part of medical oaths and Ohio law, but that the bill would impact wanted pregnancies in which complications become a factor.
“At this moment, we’re at a crisis point for abortion access in Ohio and across the country,” said Kersha Deibel, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio. “…Stripping abortion care from Southwest Ohio will cause havoc that disproportionately impacts our communities.”
The Southwest Ohio region of Planned Parenthood also opposes the legislation because of changes to hospital transfer variance agreements between abortion providers and physicians, prohibiting for doctors who are funded by Ohio’s public medical schools from participating.
“There is no medical justification for disallowing qualified, experienced physicians from agreeing to provide backup coverage for abortion providers under a variance,” said Dr. Adarsh Krishen, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio. “In fact, if the state was genuinely concerned for patient safety, such physicians would be ideal. Instead, this provision is only meant to make it more challenging for abortion providers to remain licensed and operational.”
The religious policy lobby Center for Christian Virtue praised the law and the potential shut down of Women’s Med Center in Dayton and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio’s clinic, saying the state “has made a bold statement about where our values lie.”
DeWine did not comment on the bill with his announcement that the bill had been signed.
The bill is one of a few pieces of abortion legislation brought by the legislature this year. Another measure would make abortion illegal with the rollback of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.
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