COLUMBUS—The ACLU of Ohio opposes House Bill 214, a bill that would needlessly impose politics in the doctor’s office and undermine a woman’s private medical decision-making. The legislation would criminalize doctors who perform abortions if the woman has any reason to believe her fetus has Down syndrome, even if that reason is one of many reasons why she seeks an abortion. The ACLU of Ohio will provide opposition testimony at the House Health Committee, Wednesday, sometime after 9:00 a.m.

“HB 214 is the latest in a long, and apparently unending, list of bills in Ohio and across the nation that criminalize abortion,” said Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio. “Ohioans have grown weary of politicians substituting their judgment for that of their constituents and these repeated attempts to restrict their rights,” added Daniels.

Ohio has already enacted 18 abortion restrictions since John Kasich became governor in 2011, all of which aim to outlaw widely-used medical procedures, shut down clinics, and prevent women from getting the reproductive health care they need, when they need it.  “All that House Bill 214 would accomplish, is an erosion of honesty and trust often needed between doctors and patients,” added Daniels.

“Patients may not want to risk the freedom of their trusted physicians; after all, prison awaits doctors who perform abortions where Down syndrome is a factor, no matter how big or small,” noted Daniels. “HB 214 will not help people who have Down syndrome, nor was it intended to, as the real the goal of this law is to silence women and doctors by criminalizing conversations about abortion,” concluded Daniels.

A similar law in Indiana was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal court recently.


Read our written testimony of House Bill 214.