State Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) today announced the Senate's passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits abortions from being performed on unborn children with a probable age of 20 weeks or greater.

Senate Bill 127, jointly sponsored by Lehner and Senator Jay Hottinger (R-Newark), moves the state's current benchmark for banning abortion back from the point of viability at 24 weeks gestation to the point of feeling pain at 20 weeks gestation. At 20 weeks gestation, an unborn child's spinothalamic tract is sufficiently developed, allowing them to feel the pain of an abortion.

"Ohio has gone to great lengths to make sure convicted criminals don't suffer unnecessary pain during executions," said Lehner. "It would seem that the very least we can do for a defenseless, innocent baby is to afford them the same right."

In 2013, there were 300 abortions performed after 19 weeks gestation in Ohio. 

"Each of these babies stands to suffer terribly in the abortion process," Lehner said. "Most of the civilized world bans abortion after 20 weeks; so should Ohio. We also know that the risk of maternal mortality increases by nearly 50 percent in late-term abortions. Preventing late-term abortions saves the lives of unborn children and their mothers alike."

A 2014 Quinnipiac poll reveals that 60 percent of Americans support national legislation to ban abortions when a fetus can experience pain. The U.S. is one of only seven countries in the world that permits abortion beyond this developmental marker.

Senate Bill 127 passed the Senate with a 23-9 vote and now goes to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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