Ohio ‘Unborn Child Development Education’ Act (HB 619)
This law was last updated on Feb 25, 2019
HB 619 would require the department of health to develop informational material “for the purpose of achieving an abortion-free society.”
The bill would require the department of health to develop and maintain a pregnancy and child services database containing a list of agencies that offer services available to assist an individual through pregnancy, upon childbirth and while the child is dependent. The database would need to include a comprehensive list of the agencies available, including adoption agencies, a description of the services they offer and a description of the manner, including telephone numbers and email addresses, by which they might be contacted.
The department’s website would be required to include the following statement:
“There are many public and private agencies willing and able to help you carry your child to term and assist you and your child after your child is born, whether you choose to keep your child or to place your child for adoption. If you are pregnant, the State of Ohio strongly urges you to contact an agency listed on the Department of Health’s pregnancy and child services database.”
Certain public facilities (schools, health-care facilities, and retail food establishments) would also be required to post signage in their public restrooms with the above mentioned statement.
The bill would require the department of health to develop and make available materials designed to provide accurate, scientifically verifiable information concerning the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus at certain gestational intervals.
The department would be required to develop and distribute educational and informational materials about pregnancy and abortion through public service announcements, print and broadcast media, and otherwise. The materials must “clearly and consistently state that abortion kills a living human being.”
In addition, the department of health would be required to:
- Provide outreach, training, consultation, and alternatives-to-abortion referral services to organizations, communities, and educational settings within the state;
- Provide technical assistance to help community-based organizations in the planning and implementation of abortion prevention, alternatives-to-abortion referral and education programs regarding the “humanity of the unborn child”;
- Distribute educational and informational material concerning maternal behavior during pregnancy; and
- Recommend to the department of education scientifically verifiable information concerning the fetus in the educational standards of science, family and consumer sciences and health classes.
“Humanity of the Unborn Child”
HB 619 would require the state board of education, in collaboration with the department of health, to develop an instructional program regarding the “humanity of the unborn child.” In developing the program, neither the state board of education nor the department of health would be able to consult any organization that provides abortions.
Local school boards would be able to choose if they wanted to implement the program in their districts. If a board or governing authority chooses to implement the program, it may determine the content, provided the program does all of the following:
- Provides accurate, scientifically verifiable information concerning the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus at certain gestational intervals;
- Includes information on accessing prenatal health care;
- Includes no component of human sexuality education that does not comply with current law.
The bill would prohibit the program, or any school district employee implementing the program, from referring a student to a medical facility or any provider for the performance of an abortion.
Finally, the bill would establish a fund for the department of health to be designated as “Human Fetal Development Education,” granting the department $1,000,000 through fiscal year 2020 in order to develop the program and distribute funding to participating organizations.
Nearly identical to Oklahoma’s “Humanity of the Unborn Child Act” (HB 2797), which became law in 2016.