Catholic Conference of Ohio
Friday, December 4, 2020

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Abortions in Ohio Continue to Decline

Ohio Department of Health Releases 2019 Report

Induced abortion statistics have been prepared in Ohio since 1976. Several trend comparisons in the 2019 Annual Abortion Report date back to 2004. A total of 20,102 induced pregnancy terminations were reported in Ohio for 2019; including 18,913 obtained by Ohio resident women (94.1%). This represents a 2% decrease in induced pregnancy terminations from 2018 to 2019. Overall, since 2001 there has been a steady decline in terminations. When examined from 2001 to 2019, the annual decline averaged approximately 960 per year.

U.S. Supreme Court Announces Rulings Related To Abortion Clinics and Federal Death Penalty

USCCB Chair Calls Clinic Ruling "Cruel Precedent"

The U. S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 to strike down the Louisiana law that requires abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Pro-Life Activities wrote: “...The Court’s failure to recognize the legitimacy of laws prioritizing women’s health and safety over abortion business interests continues a cruel precedent..."

In another ruling the U. S. Supreme Court refused to block the execution of four federal prison inmates who are scheduled to be put to death in July and August. The executions would mark the first use of the death penalty on the federal level since 2003. The court's action leaves no obstacles standing in the way of the executions, the first of which is scheduled for July 13. 

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called on the Administration to reverse course on presiding over federal executions for the first time in 17 years.

 

Bishops Urge FDA to Develop Ethical Vaccine for COVID-19

Encourages FDA to incentivize pharmaceutical companies to use only ethical cell lines or processes for producing vaccines

Four bishop chairmen of committees for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have urged Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to ensure that vaccines for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are developed ethically and are free from any connection to the exploitation of abortion.

"...It is critically important that Americans have access to a vaccine that is produced ethically: no American should be forced to choose between being vaccinated against this potentially deadly virus and violating his or her conscience. Fortunately, there is no need to use ethically problematic cell lines to produce a COVID vaccine, or any vaccine, as other cell lines or processes that do not involve cells from abortions are available and are regularly being used to produce other vaccines..."

Sixth Circuit Rules on Ohio's Attorney General's Coronavirus-Related Abortion Appeal

Dismisses Appeal but clarifies limits on abortion services

On April 6, 2020, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Attorney General Dave Yost's appeal of a federal judge's decision to temporarily restrain the state of Ohio from enforcing a coronavirus-related public health order against surgical abortion providers. The ruling, however, rejected the abortion providers’ argument that every surgical abortion is medically necessary. And it confirmed that the state may enforce Dr. Acton’s order against any abortion provider who performs a surgical abortion that could have been safely postponed or performed with medication.

Bishop Chairmen Issue Statement on Rationing Protocols by Health Care Professionals in Response to Covid-19

Recent news reports have highlighted policies and practices relating to rationing protocols in response to the COVID-19 virus, prompting a response by three committee chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Principles and guidelines

Catholic Health Association of the United States
Catholic Medical Association
National Association of Catholic Nurses-USA
National Catholic Bioethics Center

Ohio Attorney General Yost Seeks Emergency Stay of COVID-19-Related Abortion Ruling

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Ruling Deemed Abortions "Essential"

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost took legal action to force Planned Parenthood and other Ohio abortion facilities to comply with state orders to cease non-essential surgical procedures. 

This action appeals the order by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals allowing Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities to continue surgical abortions despite an order from the state to cease all non-essential surgeries. 

The Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton,  issued the order mandating that non-essential surgical procedures cease in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to conserve medical equipment in short supply. While the vast majority of Ohio’s medical professionals took immediate action to comply, abortion facilities across the state continued to perform surgical abortions.

Legislative Actions Continue on Pro Life Proposals in Ohio

Senate passes restrictions on abortion-inducing drugs; Human Life Protection Act introduced in the House

The Ohio Senate passed SB 260 by a vote of 20- 9. This bill prohibits a physician from personally furnishing or providing an abortion- inducing drug to a pregnant woman unless the physician is physically present at the location where and when the initial dose of the drug is consumed. The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of this bill.

The Human Life Protection Act, HB 538, was introduced in the Ohio House. This bill proposes to ban abortions in Ohio in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned, and States are given the power to set abortion policy. The legislation applies felony penalties for abortionists but provides immunity to mothers. Criminal penalties in the bill apply only to “forced terminations” and would not punish doctors treating women who have experienced miscarriage or after-miscarriage care. The death penalty is not part of the sanctions.

U. S. Bishops Approve Additions to Teaching Document on Political Responsibility

A short introductory letter and five short video scripts approved to supplement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship"

An introductory letter  addressing current issues of the day and references to the teachings of Pope Francis was approved by USCCB to supplement  the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' existing document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The letter affirms the "richness" that our faith brings to the public square, and addresses challenges that have become more pronounced:

"Pope Francis has continued to draw attention to important issues such as migration, xenophobia, racism, abortion, global conflict, and care for creation. In the United States and around the world, many challenges demand our attention.

The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty."

Introductory Letter

Introductory Letter References to Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Rejoice and Be Glad #25, #101

Two Life-Affirming Bills Pass the Ohio Senate

Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act & Abortion Pill Reversal Notice Bill Move to the Ohio House

SB 155 requires abortion providers to inform a pregnant woman of the possibility of reversing the effects of a mifepristone abortion.

SB 208 ensures that a child born alive following an abortion will receive the same degree of care to preserve her life and health as would be given to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. Ohio's crime of abortion manslaughter is expanded to include failure to take measures to preserve the health of a child born alive after abortion.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports these efforts and commends the sponsors, Senator Lehner and Senator Johnson, for these life-affirming measures.

Watch the Senate floor debates

Abortions Continue to Decline in Ohio

Legislative Advocacy Continues

Ohio Department of Health released the 2018 Ohio Abortion Report, revealing a decrease in the number of abortions last year. A total number of 20,425  abortions were performed, representing a decrease of 2% from the previous year and a 31% decline over the last decade. This marks the lowest level since 1976, when record-keeping first began, and follows a national trend as abortions continue a steady decline nationwide to their lowest numbers since Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973. 

The  Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, SB 208, was introduced in the Ohio Senate. It prohibits infanticide by ensuring that a child born alive following an abortion would receive the same degree of care to preserve their life and health as would be given to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.  It is similar to the law that is being debated in Congress.

In March, the Ohio Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 41, which urged Congress to pass the federal Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The Conference testified in support.

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