State Senator Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) today announced the Senate's passage of the Pain Capable Act, which prohibits abortions from being performed on unborn children with a probable age of 20 weeks or greater.

Senate Bill 127, jointly sponsored by Hottinger and Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), moves the state's current benchmark for banning abortion back from the point of viability at 24 weeks gestation to the point of feeling pain at 20 weeks gestation. At 20 weeks, an unborn child's spinothalamic tract is sufficiently developed, allowing them to feel the pain of an abortion.

"During committee hearings, we heard testimony referencing dozens upon dozens of studies conducted by neonatal surgeons, physicans, psychologists and other medical experts who all confirmed that pre-born babies experience pain by 20 weeks," said Hottinger. "It is our ethical responsibility to protect these unborn children from severe pain and untimely death through abortion."

In 2013, there were 300 abortions performed after 19 weeks in Ohio. For late-term abortions, the risk of material mortality increases by nearly 50 percent.

"When we think of each one of these lives lost, we should question why abortion at 20 weeks continues to be legal," said Hottinger. "This legislation acts to protect unborn babies and their mothers, whose lives also come under serious threat from late-term abortions." 

A 2014 Quinnipiac poll reveals that 60 percent of Americans support national legislation to ban abortion when a fetus can experience pain. The U.S. is one of only seven countries in the world that permits abortions beyond 20 weeks, and over 75 percent of countries restrict abortions after 12 weeks.

Senate Bill 127 passed the Senate with a 23-9 vote and will now go to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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