ACLU Sues Ohio Over Down Syndrome Abortion Law


Ohio’s American Civil Liberties Union sued the state over its recently passed ban on Down syndrome abortions, filing a Thursday complaint that asks the court to grant a permanent injunction on the law.

The ACLU filed their complaint Thursday on behalf of Preterm Cleveland and Planned Parenthood, asking the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to issue a permanent injunction, according to National Public Radio.

The law is unconstitutional and violates “the very heart of the Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy and autonomy,” the complaint alleges. It also alleges the legislation undermines the mission of physicians to honor and support their patients’ decisions.

The lawsuit comes after Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, signed House Bill 214 into law in December, effectively banning doctors from aborting babies testing positive for Down syndrome and making Ohio the fourth state to ban Down syndrome abortions.

The law penalizes doctors for performing abortions on pregnant women who receive a positive test that their baby will have Down syndrome.

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However, it does not fine or punish a woman who aborts her baby after receiving a positive test for the congenital disorder. The doctor who performs the abortion would be held responsible and would receive a fourth-degree felony charge, according to The Associated Press.

The legislation is set to take effect in late March.

“We are continuously encouraged by how Ohio is on the forefront of protecting the unborn,” Ohio Right To Life President Mike Gonidakis said in a statement after Kasich signed the bill, according to

“All Ohioans regardless of the gender, skin color or disability deserve the right to live out their God-given potential and purpose.”

Do you think it should be a illegal to abort babies with Down syndrome?

The ban has received significant backlash, however, from other groups and persons besides the ACLU.

“It’s ironic that those who claim they believe in limited government are once again choosing to insert themselves in a relationship that is sacred between that practitioner and their patient,” said state Sen. Charleta Tavares, a Columbus Democrat who fears the bill will discourage doctors from practicing in Ohio.

France had a 77 percent termination rate as of 2015, and Denmark had a 98 percent termination rate for unborn Down syndrome babies. In the United Kingdom, 90 percent of pregnant women with a positive Down syndrome test receive an abortion, according to the BBC.

The Ohio Supreme Court also revoked the license of an abortion clinic in Toledo, Ohio, last week after years of inspection violations and a failure to meet the state’s abortion clinic standards. State inspectors found 24 violations at the abortion clinic in the past 10 years, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

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Down syndrome abortion bans have also been introduced in Oklahoma, Missouri, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Utah.

A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.

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