Ohio legislature passes bill barring abortion over Down syndrome diagnosis

Ohio legislature passes bill barring abortion over Down syndrome diagnosis
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The Ohio legislature passed a bill Wednesday that would prohibit women from getting abortions because of a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis. 

Republican Gov. John Kasich is likely to sign it. 

The bill would make it a fourth-degree felony for a doctor to perform an abortion based on knowledge of Down syndrome and would require the state medical board to revoke the doctor's license if convicted. 


Similar bills have passed in Indiana and North Dakota. 

Kasich has in recent weeks called the legislation "appropriate." 

Anti-abortion groups cheered the passage and urged Kasich to quickly sign the bill. 

“We commend Ohio lawmakers for moving to end lethal discrimination against unborn children with Down syndrome,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group based in Washington, D.C.

“Research has shown that individuals with Down syndrome are among the happiest people in the world and bring tremendous joy and love to their families – but, tragically, mixed messages from society and many in the medical community target them for abortion at alarming rates." 

Abortion rights groups say the bill disregards the circumstances surrounding each woman's pregnancy. 

"This bill prevents a woman from having honest conversations about her options with her physician following a complicated medical diagnosis," NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said in a statement. 

"Kasich should veto it."