COLUMBUS, OH. — Today the Ohio Legislature passed a bill that would ban a woman from having an abortion if the woman has reason to believe her fetus has Down syndrome, and would criminalize doctors who knowingly perform these abortions. This bill now awaits review from Governor John Kasich, who may choose to veto or sign the legislation within 10 days of the bill being delivered to him.
“Yet again, Ohio lawmakers are trying to disguise their attempt to push abortion further out of reach in our state,” said Gary Daniels, Chief Lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio. “This bill does nothing to improve the lives of people with disabilities, nor increase their access to health care or other services, nor does it educate a woman and her family about having a child with a disability. It only further restricts a woman’s ability to make a decision about ending a pregnancy.
Ohio lawmakers have already enacted 18 abortion restrictions since John Kasich became governor in 2011. Governor Kasich must veto the bill within 10 days of the bill being delivered, or it will become law, with or without his signature.
“This bill would undermine the relationship between doctors and patients—turning doctors into investigators and women into suspects. It is vitally important that a woman is able to make decisions about their pregnancy in consultation with her doctor and without interference from politicians,” added Daniels. “We urge Governor Kasich to do the right thing for Ohio women and families and veto this dangerous legislation.”
A federal court struck down a similar law in Indiana as unconstitutional last year.