Controversy surrounds new Ohio budget over abortion, fetal heartbeat

BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio - Ohio's budget bill has sparked a new controversy over abortion.

"We just believe this is a full on assault on women and women's health care," said Celeste Ribbins, director of media, marketing and communication for Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio.

The bill, approved by the Ohio Legislature Thursday afternoon, requires doctors to look for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion and if one is found, the doctor must tell the patient. The bill also puts Planned Parenthood at the bottom of the list for funding and prohibits them from transferring patients to public hospitals.

Right to life groups applaud the bill.

"Whenever you go into surgery, you're supposed to have all the information available to you," said Cleveland Right to Life President Molly Smith.

Smith said there has been a significant decrease in the number of abortions in Ohio in the past decade.  She said the bill is an effort to reduce those numbers even further.

"We're trying to do this one step at a time until we can get to the point where all abortions are no longer legal," she said.

Ribbins said it will reduce the number of "safe and legal" abortions.

"We really believe that politicians should stop playing doctor with women's health," she said.

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