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A controversial amendment has been added to an Ohio abortion bill

An amendment has been added to a bill sponsored by Republicans in the Ohio Senate that would create a new penalty of “abortion manslaughter” that could be used to prosecute doctors who fail to provide medical care to a fetus after an incomplete abortion.

Democratic Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) says the amendment would limit abortion clinics’ ability to contract with doctors who work at a medical college or public institution.

“Clearly that’s going to create a serious problem because a lot of physicians work in some public entity of some sort,” Thomas says.

Thomas says this amendment would deny women their constitutional rights. But backers of the bill say it doesn’t prosecute the women seeking abortions. For years Ohio has required facilities that perform abortions to have transfer agreements with nearby hospitals. At least one clinic has a waiver that was issued when it couldn’t comply with that rule. Thomas says if the bill passes with this amendment, it will be tough for doctors to perform abortions and clinics might be forced to close.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.