COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed Amended Senate Bill 23, legislation that designates January 31st as “Omphalocele Awareness Day.”

Omphalocele (pronounced uhm-fa-lo-seal) is a rare birth defect in a baby’s abdominal wall in which the intestines, liver and other organs are located on the outside of the body through the belly button. One out of every 5,386 babies in the United States are born with omphalocele each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The causes of which are mostly unknown.

“By passing this legislation, the House and Senate are collectively raising awareness for a disorder that is uncommon, but life-altering for those who are affected by it,” said State Representative Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City), chair of the House Health Committee. “Hopefully greater recognition and medical research will lead to better understanding about its causes and potential treatments.”

Sponsored by State Senator Lou Terhar (R-Cincinnati), SB 23 now awaits Governor Kasich’s signature.

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