Introduced in Ohio House Committee
June 20, 2013-Yesterday, Representative Ron Hood introduced H.B. 200, Ohio’s Ultrasound Access Act, in the Ohio House Health and Aging Committee. This bill enhances Ohio’s current ultrasound requirements before a woman receives an abortion, to help ensure that she can make a fully informed decision.
Among the bill’s features, the Ultrasound Access Act:
- Increases the mandatory waiting period before an abortion can be performed or induced from 24 to 48 hours
- Requires that a physician inform a woman of specified medical risks associated with the abortion procedure, including the increased risk of breast cancer
- Requires that a physician perform an ultrasound of her baby and describe all relevant features of the ultrasound, including an audible heartbeat
- Requires the physician to describe the development of fetal nerve endings and the ability of her baby to feel pain at each stage of development
- Permits a woman to refuse to view the ultrasound or listen to her baby’s heartbeat
- Requires that a physician inform a woman that she can withdraw consent to abortion at any time without loss of care or of state or federal benefits
- Requires the physician’s signature of compliance with the law’s requirements
Physicians who do not comply with these requirements will be liable for criminal penalties of a felony of the first degree and fine of up to $1 million.
Full legislative consideration of this bill is expected in September, after the summer recess. The bill already has 35 House sponsors.