Columbus, Ohio – On December 22 Gov. John Kasich signed HB 214 Prohibits a person from performing, inducing, or attempting to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman who is seeking the abortion because an unborn child has or may have Down Syndrome.
HB 214 and its companion bill, SB 164, would prohibit a person from performing an abortion if they have knowledge that the woman’s decision was influenced by her belief that the fetus has down syndrome. This bill would require doctors to submit a report to the Department of Health for every patient that has an abortion, indicating that the patient did not terminate her pregnancy for this reason. If a doctor violates the terms of HB 214, they would be guilty of committing a fourth degree felony and would lose their medical license.
This ban would apply to both pre- and post-viability abortions, and includes no exception for situations in which the woman’s life or health is endangered.
In supporting the legislation, Ohio Right to Life said “Sadly, upwards of 90 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.”
Kasich has signed his 20th anti-abortion law. In doing so, he has ignored rulings of the United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, which issued a permanent injunction on that state’s Down syndrome abortion ban just 92 days ago, on September 22.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said in opposition to the bill: “When a woman receives a diagnosis of Down syndrome during her pregnancy, the last thing she needs is Governor Kasich barging in to tell her what’s best for her family. This law shames women and will have a chilling effect on the conversations between doctors and patients because of the criminal penalties that doctors will face. This law does nothing to support families taking care of loved ones with Down syndrome, instead it exploits them as part of a larger anti-choice strategy to systematically make all abortion care illegal.”