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COLUMBUS, Ohio (LifeSiteNews) — Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a new law Wednesday that will strengthen legal protections for newborns who survive abortion attempts in the Buckeye State.

The Born Alive Infant Protection Act makes “abortion manslaughter” a first-degree felony, meaning that abortionists and nurses that fail to attempt to provide life-saving care to a baby delivered alive could face prison time. It allows the mother of the child to file a civil lawsuit for “wrongful death.”

It also helps the public understand the extent of the problem of infanticide by requiring the Ohio Department of Health to “develop a child survival form that an attending physician must complete each time a child is born alive after an abortion or attempted abortion,” according to a legislative analysis.

Another provision of the legislation forbids physicians that partner with abortion facilities for their hospital transfer agreements from teaching or being paid by state-funded institutions, which could force the closures of Women’s Med and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio unless the law is blocked from taking effect in the next 90 days, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

“Ohio Right to Life applauds Gov. DeWine and our overwhelmingly pro-life legislature for ensuring that all Ohioans receive life-saving treatment,” the group’s president, Mike Gonidakis, said. “No baby, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their birth, should be left alone to die.”

Abortion defenders have attempted to discredit born-alive laws by claiming that infanticide is a myth, and that existing laws already suffice to deter it. But several former abortion industry insiders and policy scholars have told Congress or admitted under oath that it still happens, and that many cases of infanticide are not captured by the official numbers. Further, existing federal laws on the subject do not contain specific criminal penalties for withholding medical treatment from newborns.

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