ACLU sues to block Ohio law banning Down syndrome abortions

ACLU sues to block Ohio law banning Down syndrome abortions

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, along with the ACLU Foundation, is suing to block a recently passed law that will ban abortions in the state on the basis of a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

The ACLU on Thursday filed the lawsuit requesting a temporary restraining order, calling the law "unconstitutional."

“Banning a woman from having an abortion because of a fetal diagnosis is not only unconstitutional, it also does absolutely nothing to address discrimination against people with disabilities,” said Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio.

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed the bill late last year. Slated to take effect March 22, the law will prohibit doctors from performing abortions in cases where the fetus has or likely has Down syndrome. 

“If Ohio politicians wanted to proactively take a stance for people with disabilities, they should improve access to health care, education, or other services. This ban is just a thinly-veiled attempt to criminalize abortion in Ohio," Levenson said.

Anti-abortion groups cheered Kasich's approval of the bill and accused the ACLU of hypocrisy. 

"It is a shame that an organization that claims to be the very biggest and best at defending victims of discrimination completely disregards the most vulnerable members of our society who are being discriminated against," Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis said in a statement.