The state of Ohio has passed a bill to ban abortions after fetal diagnoses of Down syndrome. The law will take effect in March.
Republican Gov. John Kasich signed the controversial bill into law, holding to his promise mentioned in a 2015 interview that he would sign a bill banning abortions if the reason was that the child would have Down syndrome.
“Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition,” according to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). “Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome—about 6,000 each year.” But, often a prenatal diagnosis of this condition leads to an abortion.
The new law states that “no person shall purposely perform or induce or attempt to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman if the person has knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion, in whole or in part” because of a test result indicating Down syndrome, a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other reason to believe the unborn child has Down syndrome.
Those who perform or attempt to perform an abortion being sought because of this condition could face a fourth-degree felony, prison sentence, fine or even loss of their physician’s medical license.
“Every Ohioan deserves the right to life, no matter how many chromosomes they have,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life.