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Doctors Argue Against New Abortion Bill at Ohio Statehouse

COLUMBUS (Ken Hines) -- Doctors gathered at the Ohio Statehouse on Wednesday as the debates began over the state's latest abortion bill.

Doctors expressed concerns about the details of House Bill 200, which would significantly tighten Ohio's abortion regulations.

Among the proposed law's provisions are an extension in the waiting period for abortions from 24 to 48 hours, as well as a requirement that doctors show patients ultrasounds of fetuses before performing the procedures.

Physicians would also be required to inform patients if a fetus can feel pain at the time an abortion would be performed, though many doctors say that information would be medically inaccurate.

"There is no data on when does a fetus feel pain," Dr. Anita Somani said. "We have no way of knowing that."

Doctors in attendance Wednesday warned of the potential consequences of the bill's penalties against physicians who break proposed rules, which could include a first degree felony charge and a fine of up to $1 million.

"It creates a paralysis, an environment where you may do the wrong thing by lack of action opposed to appropriate action," Dr. Chris Copeland said.

Opponents of the proposal also argued against the bill's provision stating abortion increases the risk of breast cancer -- a link which is considered dubious by many in the medical community.

Despite many doctors' shared belief that the bill goes too far, supporters of the proposal plan to continue to fight for its passage.

"It is never too much when we can save a life," Right to Life's Rev. John Coats said. "Never too much."
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