The ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed a joint lawsuit against the state of Ohio on February 25 for its law protecting babies born alive during a failed abortion.
Senate Bill 157, the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, ensures that infants who are born alive after botched abortions receive immediate medical care and attention. It was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in December 2021. In order to protect these vulnerable infants, one of the law’s requirements is that all abortion facilities have a prior written transfer agreement with a local hospital or qualified consulting physician. However, in order to ensure that taxpayers are not funding abortions, doctors who work for public hospitals or universities are prohibited from signing on as consulting physicians. This stipulation is making it difficult for several of the state’s abortion facilities to comply with the law, which means they could be forced to close — a reality that is the driving force behind the current lawsuit.
“Senate Bill 157, in the guise of a technical requirement for a licensing variance, is actually an extreme and dangerous law that seeks to eliminate access to procedural abortion services in southwest Ohio,” ACLU attorney Amy Gilbert said in a statement. “Ohio politicians are piling yet another medically unnecessary, arbitrary and onerous requirement on abortion facilities in an attempt to put abortion out of reach for Ohioans.”
While abortion advocates claim the law is unnecessary and dangerous, the facts prove otherwise. Statistics and anecdotal evidence show that infants are born alive after abortions far more often than people think. Offering medical assistance to these children immediately — while ensuring that they aren’t being killed on the taxpayer’s dime — should not be controversial.
Mark Harrison, president of the pro-life group Created Equal, spoke out against the lawsuit in a statement. “The Born Alive Infant Protection Act not only stops abortionists from killing born children, but it also protects taxpayer dollars from funding abortion by preventing doctors who work for state-funded hospitals and medical schools from contracting with abortion clinics,” he said. “The ACLU and Planned Parenthood want to continue using taxpayer money to kill more innocent preborn children.”
The law is currently slated to go into effect on March 23, though abortion advocates are hoping for the court to issue a temporary injunction before that time.
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