The ACLU supports a woman’s access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, by working to ensure that every woman can make the best decision for herself and her family without undue political interference. We also strive for an America free of discrimination against people with disabilities. Despite recent Ohio legislation purporting otherwise, these ideals are not mutually exclusive.
Our lawmakers are trying to pass House Bill 135, which bans abortions based on a test result of Down syndrome. Doctors must submit a report to the Ohio Department of Health that verifies they didn’t perform an abortion for any woman seeking one because the fetus tested positive for Down syndrome. For any violations, they face a fourth-degree felony and loss of their medical license.
Since 2011, Ohio has introduced 16 abortion bans. This is number 17. This incessant assault on women’s reproductive freedom has been orchestrated by Ohio Right Life, a group dedicated to banning abortion in our state.
Ohio legislators are doing nothing more than using people with Down syndrome as a political tool in their crusade to ban abortion.
Let’s not kid ourselves. The true intent of this legislation is to ban abortions; it’s not a tool to make Ohio a more welcoming place for families and people with disabilities.
HB 135 will not provide any of the following for children, families, and adults with disabilities: Paid maternity leave, affordable childcare with specialists, resources for public school inclusion, accessible medical care with an emphasis on early intervention, respite care for families, and educational and vocational opportunities for individuals with disabilities..
Ohio legislators are doing nothing more than using people with Down syndrome as a political tool in their crusade to ban abortion. We can’t let legislators dodge the real issues facing people with disabilities:
- Nearly 50 percent of people with disabilities have an