COLUMBUS—State Senator Terry Johnson
(R-McDermott) today testified before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Senate Bill 208
, which would take important steps to ensure babies who are born alive after a failed abortion receive the same medical care as other babies, regardless of the circumstances of their birth.
"This legislation should be something that we can all rally around, no matter where we stand in the broader abortion debate, no matter where we fall on the spectrum of opinion between pro-life or pro-choice," Senator Johnson stated during his testimony. "Surely we are all pro-life when we look down and see an infant who is absolutely helpless and at our mercy. Here, with this bill, we come to a point in this deeply divisive national discourse where we finally find something upon which we should all agree: a living, breathing infant deserves every possible effort and protection to allow it to live."
In addition to the medical care provisions, this legislation creates reporting requirements and penalties for the attending physician who fails to report a born-alive baby. While individual stories will remain confidential, the Department of Health will publish annually the number of babies who survive abortions.
Current federal law recognizes that all infants born at any stage of development, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the birth, are “persons.” However, supporters of this legislation believe this recognition alone is insufficient to provide protections for infants born alive following an attempted abortion.
Earlier this year, a bipartisan Ohio Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 41
, which urged congress to enact the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act, similar legislation that is currently being considered by Congress at the federal level.
To watch Senator Johnson's full testimony, click here