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Kasich signs Ohio law banning abortions for Down syndrome

Kasich signs Ohio law banning abortions for Down syndrome
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Ohio became the third state Friday to ban abortions after a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a bill that would make it a fourth-degree felony for a doctor to perform an abortion if there is a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis.

The doctor could face up to 18 months in prison. There is no punishment for the woman. 

The law will take effect in March. 

Anti-abortion rights advocates say abortions because of Down syndrome are discrimination and cheered Kasich's decision Friday. 

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“Ohio has given unborn children with Down syndrome and their families an early Christmas present and created a safe haven from lethal discrimination,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.

Opponents argue the law will prevent women from making their own decisions on their pregnancies. 

"When a woman receives a diagnosis of Down syndrome during her pregnancy, the last thing she needs is Gov. Kasich barging in to tell her what's best for her family," said NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland. 

The law could face legal challenges.

A similar law was struck down in Indiana in September by a U.S. District Judge after a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.