Ohio Senate passes bill banning abortions for Down syndrome

Ohio Statehouse. (WDTN Photo/Paul Rodzinka)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WDTN) — The Ohio Senate has passed legislation that would make it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion if the fetus might have Down syndrome.

The Dispatch reports the Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation by a 20-12 vote. It makes performing such abortions a fourth-degree felony and requires the state medical board to revoke a physician’s license if convicted.

The Ohio House approved an identical measure earlier this month.

The Senate passed its version of the bill less than a day after it cleared a committee.

2 NEWS reached out to the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association and received the following statement:

“The Ohio Coalition of Down Syndrome Awareness (DSA) groups has not been involved with the Ohio Right to Life’s proposal of the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (S.B. 164).  While the Ohio DSA groups celebrate the lives of individuals with Down syndrome, we have always maintained the stance that providing parents and physicians the most updated and accurate information about Down syndrome in both a prenatal and postpartum setting best promotes our mission to empower individuals, educate families, enhance communities and together, celebrate the extraordinary lives of people with Down syndrome. This belief is reflected in the coalition’s efforts and success in the proposal and passage of the Down Syndrome Pro-Information Law (H.B. 552), which requires healthcare providers to provide expectant and postpartum patients an unbiased, up-to-date fact sheet about Down syndrome along with the names of both local and national Down syndrome organizations through the Ohio Department of Health.  This law was put into place to ensure that parents understand a diagnosis of Down syndrome and that all available resources are given to them. The Down Syndrome Pro-Information Law (H.B. 552) was passed unanimously in both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate, and was signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 22, 2014.”

Ohio Right to Life lauded the Senate for passing the legislation, which the group says was its top legislative priority this year.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio says doctors and parents of children with Down syndrome testified in hearings against the bill.

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