A controversial amendment has been added to an Ohio abortion bill

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — An amendment has been added to a bill sponsored by Republicans in the Ohio Senate that would create a new penalty of “abortion manslaughter” that could be used to prosecute doctors who fail to provide medical care to a fetus after an incomplete abortion.

Democratic Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) said the amendment would limit abortion clinics’ ability to contract with doctors who work at a medical college or public institution.

“Clearly that’s going to create a serious problem because a lot of physicians work in some public entity of some sort,” Thomas said.

Thomas said this amendment would deny women their constitutional rights. But backers of the bill say it doesn’t prosecute the women seeking abortions. For years Ohio has required facilities that perform abortions to have transfer agreements with nearby hospitals. At least one clinic has a waiver that was issued when it couldn’t comply with that rule. Thomas said if the bill passes with this amendment, it will be tough for doctors to perform abortions and clinics might be forced to close.

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