HB 200 significantly alters existing Ohio law surrounding abortion. Among its various provisions, it makes the following important changes:
- Narrows the definition of “medical emergency,” removing language that included serious risks to the physical health of the woman;
- Removes the definition of “medical necessity” and strikes subsequent mentions of it out;
- Adds a definition for “viable pregnancy” that only requires fetal cardiac activity and the presence of a fetal sac;
- Enumerates specific information the doctor must mention when speaking about an abortion procedure. This includes infertility, the risk to subsequent pregnancies, as well as scientifically unproven information about the increased risk of breast cancer;
- Mandates physicians to advise women on the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the embryo or fetus, including its nerve development and perception of pain;
- Drastically extends the list of materials/services that must be provided 48 hours prior to the procedure; and,
- Imposes a 1st degree felony, with up to a $1 million fine possible, against physicians who violate the law.
LCS Legislation Status
Our Take on This Bill
HB 200 represents an incredible intrusion into conversations between a woman, her partner, and her doctor. It requires the dissemination of medically inaccurate information to patients, inhibiting their ability to make truly informed decisions. Additionally, the proposed changes to the definitions of “medical emergency” and “medical necessity,” and the increased waiting period constrain doctors’ ability to respond to medical emergency – putting both the mothers and their unborn children at risk. Physicians need to have the flexibility to make decisions in their patients’ best interests. Women need the space to make decisions that are in the best interests of their families. HB 200 makes it more difficult to do both.
Health and Aging (H)