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COLUMBUS, OH, February 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-Life legislators in both chambers of the Ohio legislature announced new bills Wednesday that will ban late-term abortions, exclude Ohio from abortion coverage in the new federal health care law, and strengthen the state’s parental consent law.

Reps. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland) and Kristina Roegner (R-Cuyahoga Falls) have introduced HB 78, “the Viable Infants Protection Act,” which would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks when the child is proved to be able to live outside the womb.

Uecker explained that abortion is a “cruel and horrible act of murder.” He said he introduced the bill, because HB 78 “lessens this carnage to the extent allowed by the United State Supreme Court.”

“It is time for Ohio to stand up and protect our unborn children,” he said.

Another bill, HB 79, introduced by Reps. Danny Bubp (R-West Union) and Uecker, would prohibit insurance companies participating in the State health exchange set up by the national health care law from providing abortion coverage. Already a handful of states have taken advantage of a provision that allows them to opt-out.

Bubp explained that having Ohio opt out of providing coverage for elective abortions under the health care law is consistent with longstanding state law.

“Ohio has prohibited state funds to be used to support elective abortions since the mid 1990’s,” Bubp said.

Two other measures are designed to revise Ohio’s current Judicial Bypass for Parental Consent law. Both House Bill 63 and Senate Bill 8 would require judges follow a “clear and convincing evidence” standard, where they would have to inquire specifically about the minor’s understanding of the possible physical and emotional complications of an abortion, and also question whether a minor had been coached in how to respond to such questions.

Reps. Ron Young (R-Leroy) and Lynn Slaby (R-Copley) are sponsors of HB 63 in the House, while Sen. Tim Grendell is sponsoring SB 8 in the Senate.

Young said the legislation “is sorely needed,” because it addresses “concerns that some courts are approaching this bypass process with a ‘rubber-stamp’ approval.”

“It is important that Judges are clearly convinced that the child understands the consequences of her actions and that she is doing so without outside faulty influence,” said Slaby. She added that it will also help the Courts of Appeals to review better the actions of the trial court.

Ohio Right to Life says the three legislative initiatives are its top priorities for this year, and are backed by many other state and national right-to-life groups.

“Ohio is uniquely positioned to enact strong and compassionate laws to help women and the unborn,” said Mike Gonidakis, Executive Director for Ohio Right to Life. “We will work tirelessly to pass these initiatives as they are paramount to strengthening a culture of life in Ohio.”

To learn more about pro-life legislative initiatives in Ohio visit Ohio Right to Life’s resource page here.

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