Ohio may soon ban abortions after a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Ohio Senate passed the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that would make it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion based solely on a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis.
The bill was approved Wednesday in a 20-12 vote. Three Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the bill.
The state’s House passed its own version of the bill earlier this month, indicating that the bill will eventually make it to the desk of Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio). Kasich has signed other pro-life legislation as governor.
What do supporters say?
Bill sponsor Sen. Frank LaRose, a Hudson Republican, told The Plain Dealer that “We should not be making a judgment of one life being more valuable than another.”
“To me, it’s a question of medical ethics as much as what kind of society we want to live in,” LaRose said.
Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, said in a statement that the organization “thanks our pro-life senators for taking a stand against the modern-day eugenic practice of aborting babies with Down syndrome.”
“We are continuously encouraged by how Ohio is on the forefront of protecting the unborn,” Gonidakis said. “All Ohioans regardless of the gender, skin color or disability deserve the right to live out their God-given potential and purpose.”
What do opponents say?
In a statement, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland called the bill “both immoral and unconstitutional.”
“It is not our place to judge or decide for any woman what she should do, or prevent her from having honest conversations about her options with her physician—especially following a complicated medical diagnosis,” Copeland said. “This legislation criminalizes those important conversations and callously disregards the unique circumstances that surround each woman’s pregnancy.”