OH to Ban Abortion Over Down Syndrome Diagnosis

Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing

The Ohio legislature passed a bill Wednesday that would prohibit women from getting abortions because of a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis. Once the bill is in the hands of Republican Governor John Kasich, he will have 10 days to sign it into law.

The law would charge physicians with a fourth-degree felony, and the potential of a revoked medical license, if they perform an abortion wholly or partially motivated by Down syndrome.

However, data from a 2012 study have shown that 75 percent of women who are pregnant with a child who has received a Down syndrome diagnosis will terminate the pregnancy.

A bill that could keep women from having abortions after tests reveal that a fetus might have Down syndrome is heading to Ohio Gov. John Kasich's desk.

In March, Ohio passed a 20-week post-fertilization abortion ban and has passed over 20 "pro-life" laws under Kasich.

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Similar measures were passed in IN and North Dakota, but the in law was revoked by a U.S. District Judge in September after a lawsuit was filed by the ACLU.

The Ohio bill, which cleared the GOP-led Senate with some Republican opposition, would make it a crime for a doctor to terminate a pregnancy based on knowledge of Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality that causes developmental delays and medical conditions such as heart defects and respiratory and hearing problems. "Every Ohioan deserves the right to life, no matter how many chromosomes they have". We expect Governor Kasich will sign this legislation, as he said he would in 2015. "But in this case, I'm more than glad to say that of course I would sign that".

"We should never force any woman to become a parent against her will or question her decisions about pregnancy". Planned Parenthood planned a Statehouse protest rally on Thursday.

Abortion rights groups urged Kasich to veto the measure.

"This encourages women to withhold information from their doctors, and it prevents them from having open and honest conversations to be able to make the most-informed decision", said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.

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