Tags: ohio | abortion | ban | down syndrome

Ohio Abortion Ban in Case of Down Syndrome on Kasich's Desk

Ohio Abortion Ban in Case of Down Syndrome on Kasich's Desk

Abortion-rights activists stand in protest on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, in the Ohio Senate chamber in Columbus, after passage of a bill banning abortions in cases of a Down syndrome diagnosis. (Julie Carr Smyth/AP Photo)

By    |   Friday, 15 December 2017 09:45 AM

An Ohio abortion ban bill in case of Down syndrome is on Gov. John Kasich's desk after the state's Senate approved the measure this week, the Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday.

According to the Legislative Service Commission, the legislation does not specifically prohibit aborting a fetus with Down syndrome, but it applies to why the mother wants an abortion and whether the person performing it knows the mother’s reasons, the newspaper wrote.

The bill would make violations a fourth-degree felony and the state Medical Board would revoke a convicted physician's license to practice medicine in Ohio, the Dispatch reported. A pregnant woman would not face criminal charges under bill.

Cleveland.com said fourth-degree felony convictions can lead up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Kasich had called the bill "appropriate" in the past, noted the newspaper.

The Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion nonprofit, hailed the Ohio Senate's vote.

"A prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome should not mean a death sentence," Mike Gonidakis, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, said in a statement, according to the Dispatch. "We are one step closer to ensuring that Ohioans with Down syndrome are recognized as humans worthy of dignity, just as they are."

Cleveland.com reported that some national studies have shown abortion rates for those with Down syndrome likely range from 50 percent to 85 percent, according to a 2012 survey published by the medical journal Prenatal Diagnosis.

The ACLU of Ohio, though, has asked Kasich in a statement to veto the measure because it is unconstitutional and undermines the patient-doctor relationship, Cleveland.com reported.

"This bill does nothing to improve the lives of people with disabilities, nor increase their access to health care or other services, nor does it educate a woman and her family about having a child with a disability," Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio, said in a statement, per Cleveland.com. "It only further restricts a woman's ability to make a decision about ending a pregnancy."

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich will consider an abortion ban bill in case of Down syndrome after the state's Senate approved the measure this week.
ohio, abortion, ban, down syndrome
Friday, 15 December 2017 09:45 AM
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