Court: Ohio Can Enforce Abortion Ban After Down Syndrome Diagnosis

Judges cite Holocaust, eugenics in divided ruling allowing Ohio to enforce Down Syndrome abortion ban

COLUMBUS – Ohio’s ban on abortions after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome doesn’t violate a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion, a divided 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

The law, passed by Ohio’s Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by GOP Gov. John Kasich in 2017, imposes criminal penalties on doctors who perform abortions if they’re aware that a Down syndrome diagnosis, or the possibility of a diagnosis, is the reason for seeking the abortion. The penalty is a fourth-degree felony.

On Tuesday, the full 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 9-7 that Ohio’s law did not “create a substantial obstacle to a woman’s ability to choose or obtain an abortion.” The appeals court reversed the injunction blocking the law from taking effect. That could take a week to be lifted, an attorney general’s office spokesman said. 

The Columbus Dispatch

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