September 12, 2017

COLUMBUS—The ACLU of Ohio opposes Senate Bill 164, 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 for women who seek to terminate their pregnancy because the fetus has tested positive for Down syndrome. The ACLU of Ohio will provide opposition testimony at the Senate Health & Human Services Committee Tuesday afternoon at 2:15pm.

“SB 164 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,” concluded 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 Senate Bill 164 would accomplish, is an erosion of honesty and candidness 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. “This bill will stigmatize women seeking abortion by turning medical professionals into investigators and patients into suspects,” concluded Daniels. “If passed, it will likely end up in court.”


Read our written testimony of Senate Bill 164.