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Abortion centers sue to reverse Ohio’s new ban on aborting babies with Down Syndrome

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

CINCINNATI, Ohio, February 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood are suing to block Ohio’s new state law that bans abortion of preborn babies because they have Down Syndrome. The lawsuit calls the law an “unconstitutional undue burden on the abortion right.”

The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act, or HB-214, passed the legislature last year, and Governor John Kasich (R) signed it into law on December 22. Abortionists violating the ban may receive fines, jail time, or a loss of their medical license. There are no punishments for the women who abort a possible Down syndrome baby.

The new law is scheduled to take effect next month. 

The lawsuit characterizes the new law as “striking at the very heart of the Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy and autonomy,” yet neither “privacy” nor “autonomy” are mentioned or even inferred in the Constitution.

“For many families, the right decision is...abortion,” the ACLU complaint reads, calling abortion of babies with Down Syndrome “medically appropriate care.” It refers to the baby in her mother’s womb as “the products of conception.”

Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, Planned Parenthood Greater Ohio, Cleveland’s “Preterm” abortion facility, Dayton’s Women’s Med Group, and Dr. Roslyn Kade filed in the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati against the Ohio Department of Health, county prosecutors and members of the state medical board.

Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis called the lawsuit “discrimination.”

“It is a shame that an organization that claims to be the very biggest and best at defending victims of discrimination completely disregards the most vulnerable members of our society who are being discriminated against,” he said. 

Gonidakis said that a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome "should not mean a death sentence.”

“Every Ohioan deserves the right to life, no matter how many chromosomes they have,” he added.

The suit ultimately wants the law declared unconstitutional, and is also seeking an immediate injunction putting a hold on its enforcement, as well as money.

The medical journal Prenatal Diagnosis reports that up to 85 percent of pregnant women who receive a Down Syndrome diagnosis abort their child. The numbers are so high that the European Center for Law and Justice appealed to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in an oral intervention, calling the practice a “contemporary form of eugenics and racism.”

One in 691 babies is conceived with Down syndrome. However, “the advances in science and medicine that allow people with Down syndrome to lead successful lives,” Live Action explains.  “Today, people with Down syndrome receive equal education alongside their peers, and many live on their own, get married, and hold jobs.”

Addressing this concern, Ohio passed a pro-information law to give women more accurate and less stigmatizing data on the disability.

Ohio is the fourth state to prohibit abortion because of Down Syndrome and/or possible fetal abnormality.  

Indiana’s ban was struck down by a federal judge after an ACLU challenge.  North Dakota’s 2013 ban remains in force because the state’s only abortion business does not terminate past 16 weeks gestation, before prenatal testing. Louisiana’s 2016 law is not enforced while the Center for Reproductive Rights challenges it and six other pro-life statutes.

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