Planned Parenthood has described the law as another in a series of TRAP laws, or “targeted restrictions on abortion providers,” aimed to eventually make abortion unavailable inside state borders. The procedure remains constitutionally protected for now.
It was sponsored by Republican state Sens. Terry Johnson, a retired doctor, and Steve Huffman, a practicing physician.
Huffman has called the bill “another step in our continued commitment to uphold the sanctity of human life.” Ohio Right to Life, the state’s oldest and largest anti-abortion group, calls the new law “anti-infanticide.”
Ohio law already punishes doctors who don’t take efforts to save the lives of babies born alive after abortions. It expands Ohio law by including a new crime of “purposely failing to take measures to preserve the health or life of a child.”
In cases of procedures in abortion clinics, doctors must provide care to a baby born alive, call 911 and arrange transportation to a hospital, under the law.
Instances of babies being born alive after an induced pregnancy termination are extremely rare.
A review by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of infant mortality data from 2003 and 2014 showed 143 deaths were of infants that displayed signs of life after an induced termination. That was a tiny fraction of the 315,000 infant deaths during those 12 years, a period that also included 49 million live births.
In a majority of those cases, the abortion was induced due to a maternal complication or congenital anomaly in the fetus.