• Senate Bill 157 Signed by Gov. DeWine

Columbus, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 157, which could shut down all abortion providers in Southwest Ohio, into law. SB 157 was originally a stigmatizing bill that sets out to create a law that already exists, but before this bill passed the Senate, a last-minute amendment was added, a TRAP law that would shut down abortion providers.

The Governor’s web site describes Senate Bill 157 this way –

The legislation creates protections for children who are born alive after a failed abortion attempt.  The bill expands abortion manslaughter to include failing to take measures to preserve the health of a child born alive after an abortion, and creates a right of action for the affected mother to sue a person guilty of abortion manslaughter.  The bill also creates new rules around ambulatory surgical facilities where abortions are attempting to be performed, in order to ensure the health and safety of a child when born alive after an abortion.  The bill was sponsored by Senator Terry Johnson. 

Statement from Kersha Deibel CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region:

“At this moment, we’re at a crisis point for abortion access in Ohio and across the country. Anti-abortion politicians have made it their job to bury abortion providers under so many TRAP laws that providing and accessing essential health care to Ohioans has become an obstacle course. Stripping abortion care from Southwest Ohio will cause havoc that disproportionately impacts our communities. Abortion is still legal in Ohio. This isn’t the end, and we will continue to fight.”

Statement from Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Advocacy:

“The bill’s purpose is to stigmatize essential health care, criminalize doctors, and eliminate abortion access. The law that SB 157 purports to create already exists in our state. But lawmakers used this bill as a trojan horse to hide the true, insidious intent of the bill: A last-minute, targeted restriction on abortion providers (TRAP law) that would allow the Department of Health to revoke ambulatory surgical licenses, shutting down health centers and fully eliminating abortion access in Southwest Ohio.”

Ohio already requires medically unnecessary contracts (called variances) between abortion providers and physicians who hold admitting privileges at local hospitals. The proposed amendment to SB 157 would make this requirement even more extreme, disqualifying all physicians who teach medical students or are affiliated with public hospitals and institutions from entering these contracts with abortion clinics. 

Statement from Adarsh Krishen MD, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio:

“There is no medical justification for disallowing qualified, experienced physicians from agreeing to provide backup coverage for abortion providers under a variance. 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.”