Ohio Governor Strickland Signs Umbilical Cord Blood Bill

On March 31, 2010, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed H.B. 102. The new law, which was sponsored by Rep. Todd Book (D, McDermott), requires the Ohio Department of Health to place printable information on umbilical cord blood banking and donation on its website. The Department of Health also will encourage health care professionals to provide the information to pregnant women.

H.B. 102 passed the Ohio Senate by a vote of 32-0 on March 24, 2010. The Ohio House then voted 97-0 to concur in the Senate amendments to the bill. Umbilical cord blood is an ethical and non-controversial source of stem cells that can be obtained with no risk to the mother or child. Stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood have been used to successfully treat over 70 diseases including sickle cell anemia, leukemia, and lymphoma. Unfortunately, most umbilical cord blood is currently being discarded after birth.

Banking cord blood for personal or family use with a private bank can involve significant expense. However, donations to public cord blood banks involve no expense for the donor.

“We are delighted that Ohio has adopted this important life-saving legislation,” said Mike Gonidakis, Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life. “By Improving public awareness about cord blood donation, this law should increase the number and diversity of cord blood donations and thus increase the number of patients who can obtain the match they need,” Gonidakis said.

The new law takes effect in 90 days.

Source:Ohio Right to Life, 4/1/10

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