Ohio Safeguards the Right to Life of Unborn Babies with Down Syndrome
Wednesday Ohio lawmakers took steps to ban abortions when they are sought because the unborn child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. Governor John Kasich has not said explicitly whether he plans to sign it. However earlier this year he called a prohibition on abortion in cases of the genetic disorder “appropriate.” Kasich has ten days to sign the bill into law after it is delivered to his office. If the bill is enacted, Ohio would become the latest state to try to end discrimination of unborn babies that have been discovered through prenatal testing that have Down syndrome, which occurs when a person has an extra 21st chromosome. Three other States have enacted similar safeguards, they are North Dakota, Indiana and Louisiana, though the latter two have been blocked by the courts.
Although there is a debate among disability groups nationally, many disability right advocates favor the bans, saying the country is on a slippery slope toward eugenics.
Angela Boblitt, a mother of a 4-year-old child with Down syndrome and runs an adoption agency, said in an interview that she was pleased with the vote -- because it will protect children like her daughter Lucy and it advances the antiabortion cause.
“I just think it’s a part of the puzzle to us coming toward seeing an end to abortion,” Boblitt said. “And we definitely do feel that aborting a child because of a medical diagnosis is discriminatory.” Doctors who violate the ban would lose their medical license and face a fourth-degree felony charge, including up to a $5,000 fine and 18 months in prison. Mothers would not be punished by the law.
Greater Toledo Right to Life 5726 Southwyck Blvd., Ste. 120 Toledo, Ohio 43614 phone: (419)535-5800