Charlotte Lozier Institute’s Legal and Medical Scholars Testify in Support of Ohio’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Sheila Page, D.O., David Prentice, Ph.D.,   

This Tuesday, the Ohio House Committee on Community and Family Advancement held a hearing on SB 127, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) associate scholars Anna Higgins, J.D., an attorney and legal researcher, and Sheila Page, D.O., an osteopathic physician, testified in support of these bills. CLI welcomed both women as recent additions to the associate scholar team in September.


On Wednesday, Anna Higgins also testified in support of SB 214, a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood by way of “ensur[ing] state/certain federal funds [are] not used for nontherapeutic abortions.”


CLI is grateful to Dr. Sheila Page and Anna Higgins for their permission to reprint the full text of their testimonies. CLI’s Vice President and Research Director, Dr. David Prentice, Ph.D. also submitted written testimony, included here.


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(Pictured L-R: Pat Todak, Executive Director of Heartbeat of Toledo; Kayla Atchison of Ohio Right to Life; Anna Higgins, CLI Associate Scholar; and Dr. Sheila Page, CLI Associate Scholar)


Excerpt from David A. Prentice, Ph.D. Testimony – SB 127


You may hear that that the science of fetal pain is disputed, quoting a JAMA review from 2005 that claims pain sensation does not develop until 29-30 weeks gestation, and requires development of a functioning cortex in the brain.  That study, while widely quoted, was published by physicians with significant ties to the abortion lobby. That 2005 paper ignored numerous studies showing that the thalamus, not the cortex, is needed for pain sensation. In fact, children born without a cortex are conscious.  The 2005 JAMA review also didn’t address other evidence such as studies demonstrating that premature babies feel pain as early as 20 weeks; its biased conclusions have been discredited.


Continue reading HERE.


Excerpt from Sheila Page, D.O. Testimony – SB 127


In view of the consistent observations of aversion behavior at 7-7.5 weeks, it can be concluded that at this age the embryo is responding to sensory input. The thalamus is already formed, and during the seventh week the thalamus rapidly expands in conjunction with the developing nociceptive system of the spinal cord, demonstrating that the components of pain perception develop as a unit. Projections from the spinal cord can reach the thalamus from seven weeks gestation. (Citations omitted)


Continue reading HERE.


Excerpt from Anna Higgins, J.D. Testimony – SB 127


The United States is within the top 4% of most permissive abortion policies in the world (7 out of 198) when analyzing restrictions on elective abortion based on duration of pregnancy.


… A state prohibition of abortion at or after 20 weeks gestation (with a Casey health exception) is permitted by the Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), and Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007) based on the State’s interest in protecting maternal health and unborn life.


Continue reading HERE.


Excerpt from Anna Higgins, J.D. Testimony – SB 214


Ohio already has 280 federally qualified health clinics and rural health clinics that serve as better alternatives to the 28 Planned Parenthood locations in the state.  Citizens of Ohio or any state can now find alternatives to Planned Parenthood through, which provides interactive maps allowing people to look up where the closest comprehensive care clinic is located.


… Concerns over the evidence of fraud, misuse of funds, failure to report sexual abuse, and extensive donations to political campaigns warrant the proposed legislation to defund entities that perform elective abortions. Furthermore, the health of the citizens of Ohio will be better served by diverting those funds to comprehensive health care clinics.


Continue reading HERE.


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(CLI Associate Scholar Anna Higgins, second from the left, standing with pro-life allies including Stephanie Ranade Krider, Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life, second from the right. Featuring a map of federally funded health clinics in comparison to Planned Parenthood centers in Ohio, produced by Alliance Defending Freedom and Charlotte Lozier Institute.)


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