Columbus - 
State Senator Peggy Lehner (R- Kettering) announced today that the Ohio Senate voted to approve Senate Bill 72, legislation that would prohibit abortions once the viability of the child has been confirmed. "Abortions can currently be performed in Ohio up to the moment of birth, but many doctors agree that a child can live outside the womb after just 22-24 weeks," Lehner said. "This bill will prevent late-term abortions - which are done when the child has a good chance of surviving and is old enough to feel pain - and help better protect our youngest and most vulnerable citizens." Under Senate Bill 72, if a pregnant woman seeking an abortion is at 20 weeks gestation or older, the doctor must test the child to see if he or she is viable. If the determination is made that the child is viable, an abortion cannot be performed except in the case of a medical emergency, in which case the abortion must be performed where there is a neonatal care facility and done using the method that is most likely to permit the child to survive. In addition, another doctor must be present to care for the child. The bill also requires doctors to report on circumstances that still allow an abortion to take place, and holds physicians accountable for failing to determine viability prior to performing later-term abortions. Lehner noted that 39 other states have enacted a form of legislation limiting postviability abortions. Senate Bill 72 now moves to the Ohio House for further consideration.
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