COLUMBUS, Ohio, December 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Ohio’s Republican Governor John Kasich today signed a pro-life bill banning abortion of babies diagnosed in utero with probable Down syndrome.
The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act will go into effect in 90 days.
The bill, which passed the Ohio Senate 20-12 and the Ohio House 63-30 last month, prohibits abortion when prenatal tests show the baby has Downs syndrome or is likely to have it.
An individual who commits an abortion in these circumstances could be charged with a fourth-degree felony, and doctors who do so could also lose their licenses, but the mother would not be accountable, according to CNN.
Kasich said in 2015 he would be “more than glad” to sign such a bill.
Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, lauded the bill’s passing.
“Now that the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act is law, unborn babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are given a shot at life,” he said.
“Ohio is and will continue to be a state that sees the lives of people with Down syndrome as lives worth living, thanks to this legislation.”
Gonidakis characterized Down syndrome abortions as “discrimination,” and decried the “modern-day eugenic practice of aborting babies with Down syndrome.”
That was echoed by Ohio Rep. Sarah LaTourette, who introduced the bill in the House last month.
“I believe that life begins at conception and that abortion should never be considered an option,” she said earlier this month, as CNN reported.
“However, regardless of if you agree with me or not, I hope that you can see that this is not an issue about abortion; it is an issue of discrimination — discriminating against a person, not allowing them their God-given right to life, simply because they might have Down syndrome.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio denounced the legislation as interfering with women’s right to choose abortion, CNN reported.
Up to 90 percent of preborn babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted, even though the chromosomal abnormality has not stopped such people from living happy, fulfilling lives.
The medical journal Prenatal Diagnosis reports that up to 85 percent of pregnant women who receive a Downs 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. The cause is not known, but it can be detected in the womb or after birth to help the child therapeutically.
Live Action reports that parents are often misinformed about Downs.
“They are not informed of the advances in science and medicine that allow people with Down syndrome to lead successful lives. Today, people with Down syndrome receive equal education alongside their peers, and many live on their own, get married, and hold jobs.”