Federal Judges Uphold Ohio Law That Criminalizes Down Syndrome Abortions

A federal circuit court has decided to uphold an Ohio law that prohibits doctors from carrying out an abortion if they know that the fetus’ Down syndrome diagnosis is the mother’s primary motivation.

The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to uphold the law in a 9-7 decision. The case is known as Pre-Term Cleveland v. McCloud. Planned Parenthood was also named in the list of plaintiff-appellees.

Ohio’s law, known as H.B. 214, grants authorities the power to strip physicians of their licenses and potentially imprison them for up to 18 months if they violate it. The law does not target mothers who receive Down syndrome-based abortions.

It is important to note that a woman in Ohio can still legally terminate her pregnancy if the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. H.B. 214 only criminalizes the physician who performs a Down syndrome-based abortion if he or she is aware that the fetus has been diagnosed with it.

Back in February Big League Politics reported on South Carolina’s new law banning abortions if the fetus had a heartbeat and the pregnancy was not caused by rape or incest. The law, however, was suspended upon an immediate lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood. The length of the suspension is still unclear and could very well last a while.

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