The bill, which passed 20-12, is now in the hands of Governor Kasich.
The Ohio legislature has voted in favor of a bill which would penalize doctors who perform abortions after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome. The vote passed, with a count of 20-12, and is now pending approval by Governor John Kasich, who has 10 days to veto the bill.
Under the proposed law, physicians who violate the proposed ban would face a fourth-degree felony, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. They could also lose their license to practice medicine and face lawsuits if the woman is injured or dies because of the prohibited abortion.
Those in favor of the bill claim it will save lives. A 2012 study published in the medical journal “Prenatal Diagnosis” put the rate of abortion after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome between 50 and 85 percent. Some, however, fear that singling out Down syndrome over other diagnoses sends a message that some disabilities are “more worthy” of life than others.
It is still unclear whether Kasich will sign or veto the bill. In 2015, Kasich claimed he would sign a bill like this, if given the chance. However, Ohio’s bill is very similar to legislation which attempted to pass in Indiana, but was challenged and found unconstitutional. Kasich has previously shown that he would veto a bill which he did not find constitutional.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?