Ohio Governor Signs Protecting Pregnant Women From Coercion & Violence Bill

Governor Ted Strickland recently signed Sub. H.B. 280, the Protecting Pregnant Women from Coercion & Violence Act. In addition to protecting pregnant women from violence and coerced abortions, the new law will allow proof of a pattern of failing to report known or suspected child sexual abuse in a lawsuit for damages against abortion facilities or others who are required to report child abuse.
Sub. H.B. 280, which was sponsored by Rep. Michelle Schneider, will:
1) Require abortion facilities to post a “No One Can Force You to Have an Abortion” poster;
2) Require mandatory minimum prison sentences for assault and increase penalties for domestic violence if the offender knew the victim was pregnant;
3) Permit recovery of compensatory and exemplary damages and use of reports of prior abuse incidents (with identifying information removed) in a civil action for failure to file required reports of known or suspected child abuse; and,
4) Provide mandatory prison sentences and payment of restitution to victims in cases of “human trafficking” for prostitution. 
“We are delighted that Ohio has enacted this law to protect women and children from coercion and abuse,” said Mike Gonidakis, Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life. “All Ohioans should join in opposing coerced abortion and violence against pregnant women,” Gonidakis said.
“Although we have a statute requiring professionals to report child abuse, recent reports indicate that some abortion facilities failed to report sexual abuse of minors by adults. This new law will clarify that a failure to report can result in recovery of damages and that evidence of a pattern of failing to report abuse can be used in a lawsuit seeking such damages.”

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