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Battle lines drawn over new abortion bill at the Statehouse

 
Battle lines drawn over new abortion bill at the Statehouse
Posted June 14th, 2013 @ 1:14pm

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- A new bill at the Ohio Statehouse would require women view an ultrasound and wait longer before having an abortion. It would also mandate that doctors read information about the risks of abortions that some say isn't true.

House Bill 200, introduced by Rep. Ron Hood (R-Ashville), would have doctors talk with patients about pain the fetus might feel and that having an abortion will increase the risk of breast cancer.

"These are the kind of things that Rep. Ron Hood with his business degree is trying to tell doctors with their medical degrees that they should be telling their patients," said Jamie Miracle, policy director for NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

She cited studies from the American Cancer Society and other medical organizations that say there is no evidence of a link between abortion and higher cancer risks.

"How are people supposed to make informed decisions about their health care when the legislature is mandating that their doctor lie to them," she said.

Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis says women should want to have all the information they can get before making what amounts to a life or death decision.

"What we're attempting to do is to help women to provide them with life saving decisions as opposed to just saying 'have an abortion and it will cure all your problems,'" he said.

Currently, Ohio law mandates a 24 hour waiting period and an ultrasound before an abortion. The woman doesn't have to view the ultrasound, but that would change under Hood's bill.

"4D ultrasounds allows us to see a baby as young as four weeks to see a baby smiling in the mother's womb," said Gonidakis.

The bill would also double the waiting period to 48 hours. Gonidakis says it's important that women have time to make an informed decision before going forward with the procedure.

Miracle says the legislation aims to shame women for wanting to get an abortion. She points out that 60 percent of the women in Ohio that get an abortion have other children at home.

"The second they see a positive pregnancy test the woman is thinking about: do I have the resources to continue this pregnancy, do I have the resources to parent this child or is abortion the right choice for me?"

The bill also requires doctors release how much they make for performing an abortion and how much it costs them when a woman decides against an abortion. Doctors who violate the law, if it is passed, could face a decade in prison and a $1 million fine.

The bill could come up for a hearing before the House Health and Aging Committee on Wednesday. 34 Republicans have signed on with Hood as sponsors of the bill.

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