Statehouse Update - The 131st General Assembly Comes to a Close
Heartbeat Bill Passes Both Chambers and Heads to Governor Kasich's Desk for Signature
After five years of working on this legislation, pro-life Ohioans are rejoicing that this legislation is heading to the Governor's desk. The late Dr. Jack Willke supported this legislation and said it was needed at this time to advance the cause of life. Congratulations to Janet Porter and the coalition of life groups who worked on this legislation, and the many Ohioans who made phone calls and sent emails and spoke to their legislators about the importance of this legislation. Appreciation is also in order for the many legislators who worked on this bill to make it happen, in both the Ohio House and Senate.
S.B. 172, Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Passes Both Chambers and Heads to the Governor's Desk
The legislation would prohibit abortions at the time in pregnancy that a child can feel pain, or 20 weeks gestation, challenging the 24-week "viability" limitation set in Roe. Since 2010, 15 states have passed similar legislation, and pro-life leaders in Congress have attempted to pass a federal version. In Ohio, 478 abortions occurred after 19 weeks gestation in 2015 alone. Dr. David Prentice of the Lozier Institute stated the following in testimony in support of this legislation, "There is significant evidence from peer-reviewed scientific studies that unborn children as young as 20 weeks after fertilization, and probably younger, can experience pain.
Ohio Pastor Protection Act, H.B. 286 passed committee but was not brought to the floor for a vote.
Clergy from around the State of Ohio expressed their disappointment that the Ohio Pastor Protection Act, H.B. 286, legislation that would protect pastors, churches and church organizations from the threat of lawsuits from individuals that would attempt to file suit against religious institutions, forcing their hand on homosexual marriage, was not brought to the floor for a vote. After many calls and emails and dozens of clergy from various denominations coming to the Ohio Statehouse in support of this legislation, the Ohio House leadership still chose not to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. No explanation was given. The Ohio Christian Alliance is committed to protecting religious liberty, and as Matt Staver, President of Liberty Counsel stated, "In the aftermath of the SCOTUS decision on homosexual marriage, states must now move quickly to entact statute legislation to protect religious liberty."
Ohio's MOLST Bill Dies Deserved Death Will Not Go Into Law - (The following is from Cincinnati to Life)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, December 9, 2016 (Cincinnati, OH) - Sub. S.B. 165, Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment has NOT passed the Ohio House of Representatives and will not go into effect! The bill was to establish in statute a MOLST form for end of life care instructions.
"S.B. 165, MOLST would have created administrative confusion for healthcare professionals and institutions, plus an unclear, even dangerous advance directive for patients," said Paula Westwood, Executive Director, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati.
"Thank you to all who communicated with legislators, plus the legislators who paid attention to this problematic end of life measure, understood its dangers, and did not enact it in law."
A coalition of pro-life groups across the state joined together to oppose S.B. 165 due to concerns of potentially hastened deaths for patients.
"This significant decision is the visible result of what Ohio's statewide pro-life coalition worked and prayed for, and accomplished in concert with legislators willing to work for human life protections regardless of whether or not it is politically expedient," said Barry Sheets, legislative consultant for Cincinnati Right to Life, Cleveland Right to Life, and Ohio ProLife Action member organizations.
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