Governor John Kasich signed legislation into law today which prohibits doctors from performing abortions in Ohio based on the diagnosis of Down Syndrome. The new abortion law cleared the Republican-dominated Ohio legislature with slight opposition earlier this month and was signed today as Governor John Kasich’s last act of the year 2017.
The Detroit News is saying that the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life is cheering on John Kasich and celebrating the new law as a major victory for their cause. Group President Mike Gonidakis claims that this new law will go a long way to stop the discrimination against those with Down Syndrome.
“Now that the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act is law, unborn babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are given a shot at life.”
New Legislation Punishes Physicians Who Perform Abortions Based On A Down Syndrome Diagnosis
In the law that makes performing abortions on the basis of a Down Syndrome diagnosis official, the punishment would be leveled exclusively at the physician and not at the pregnant woman. The new abortion law makes it a crime “for a doctor to terminate a pregnancy based on knowledge of Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality that causes developmental delays and medical conditions such as heart defects and respiratory and hearing problems.”
A physician performing an abortion based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis would be committing a felony (4th degree), and they would lose their license if convicted. The pregnant woman would not be penalized at all in the situation for having an abortion.
Gov. John Kasich Has Supporters And Detractors On New Abortion Law
The signature of Governor John Kasich makes Ohio the third state to make it a law that doctors should be penalized for performing abortions based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis said The Hill. And while other anti-abortion groups are cheering on the new legislation, it is not without its critics, and pro-choice groups are speaking out to criticize John Kasich.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland says that women who are making a decision about what is best for their families and their reproductive rights do not want Kasich’s opinion on the matter.
“When a woman receives a diagnosis of Down syndrome during her pregnancy, the last thing she needs is Gov. Kasich barging in to tell her what’s best for her family.”
But the new abortion law to protect those with Down Syndrome will likely face challenges in 2018. A similar law in the state of Indiana was overturned after a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Gov. John Kasich Signed Additional Abortion Legislation Into Law
The Dayton Daily News said that Governor John Kasich signed another piece of abortion legislation into law in addition to the law which penalizes physicians who perform abortions on the basis of a Down Syndrome diagnosis. John Kasich also signed into law legislation which bans all abortions after twenty weeks of pregnancy.
The percentage of abortions in Ohio has reportedly declined 1 % from 2015 to 2016 and is said to be declining over the last twenty years.