Activists respond to 'Born-Alive' bill that severs abortion clinic ties to state-funded universities

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the 'Born-Alive Infant Protection Act.'

The bill includes a provision that bans clinics from partnering with physicians who have ties to publicly funded colleges and universities.

Governor Mike DeWine (R-OH) has signed a bill that prohibits doctors from denying life-saving treatment to infants who survive abortion attempts, and cracks down on backdoor public funding of abortions through state universities.  

Senate Bill 157, the “Born-Alive Infant Protection Act”, was introduced in April 2021 by State Senators Terry Johnson and Stephen Huffman, both physicians. 

The legislation states, “[n]o person shall purposely take the life of a child born by attempted abortion who is alive when removed from the uterus of the pregnant woman.” 

Additionally, it prohibits abortionists from failing to provide necessary medical attention to born-alive children.

Failure of abortionists to comply with providing necessary medical treatment to preserve life outside of the womb may result in abortion manslaughter charges, a fist degree felony, and women will be eligible to file a civil action for the loss of the child.

The definition of abortion manslaughter was specified in Section 2919.13 of the Ohio Revised Code to extend to abortionists who purposefully end the life of the child after being born alive and outside of the woman’s uterus or fails to extend proper medical care to the child post-attempt.

[RELATED: Nearly all Americans oppose late-term abortion, UC survey finds]

SB 157 also prevents physicians employed by a state-funded college or university to establish a partnership with abortion clinics. 

The Ohio Revised Code Section 3702.303 addresses a variance concerning abortion practices that mandate all “ambulatory surgical facilit[ies]” establish a written transfer agreement with a local hospital to detail procedure for moving patients when necessary.

Physicians who are associated with state funded institutions are not eligible to fulfill this requirement. Thus, it has tied the hands of abortion providers to remain compliant with the law and aimed to restrict how taxpayer money can be used, both directly and indirectly, when concerning abortion.

Senator Huffman told Campus Reform that the provision aims to address how abortions are funded, cracking down on the stream of line-item budgeting that goes toward medical schools. 

”We should not be paying for faculty to do abortions,” the Senator explained. 

Senator Huffman reacted to the passage of the bill, affirming to Campus Reform that “every life has dignity.” He released a public statement after the Governor’s signing declaring Ohio as a pro-life state, and emphasizing the core function of the bill.

“Regardless of what side of the abortion debate you are on, we can all agree that newborns deserve proper medical care and compassion,” Huffman wrote.

Pro-abortion advocates are not on board.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio were quick to release a statement, obtained by Campus Reform, denouncing the bill, arguing that the bill extends a law that already exists in order to “shut down abortion providers.”

“Minutes ago, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 157, which could shut down all abortion providers in Southwest Ohio, into law,” the statement opened.

The pushback moves to campus, as well, as the provision would affect major academic institutes such as Ohio State University. 

[RELATED: WATCH: Pro-abortion and pro-life protestors gather outside the Supreme Court]

Kelly Hall, leader of Generation Action at Ohio State, told Campus Reform that the bill is a threat to abortion facilities who rely on transfer agreements to remain compliant. Under the new bill, some facilities, such as in Dayton and Cincinnati, may be forced to shutter their doors. 

“After public input ended, members of the Ohio Senate added a dangerous amendment to the bill, commonly known as a Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law,” Hall explained. “Without a variance or transfer agreement, an abortion provider could have its license revoked and doors closed.”

The Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers Act further regulated where and to what standard abortion clinics can operate. In Ohio, a hospital must be within 30 miles of an abortion clinic for it to be considered regulatory. 

“SB 157 will limit the pool of potential physicians for some of the very few abortion providers we have left in Ohio,” she noted. 

Ohio Right to Life, however, upheld a different perspective, affirming their support of the bill in a public statement.

President of Ohio Right to Life Michael Gonidakis told Campus Reform that the bill echoes similar provisions established through previous Ohio laws. 

“Ohio Right to Life applauds Senator Huffman and Senator Johnson, both of whom are licensed physicians in Ohio, for their incredible pro-life leadership. No baby in Ohio, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their birth, should be left to die,” wrote Director of Communications Allie Frazier.

”We have a longstanding... framework in Ohio that states funds can’t be used to directly or indirectly fund abortion.”

Gonidakis refers to such laws prohibiting public colleges and universities from working with the abortion industry because “[public] tax dollars pay to keep the doors open.”

Under this new bill, Gonidakis noted, this sentiment is further enforced to reiterate abortions cannot be performed “if you are a publicly funded doctor at a publicly funded university”.

Campus Reform reached out to Ohio Right to Life, Johnson, and Ohio State University for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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