Gov. John Kasich has Ohio signed the bill into law, the doctors would prohibit the carrying out of abortions after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
The Governor of Ohio and former presidential candidate John Kasich into law under a controversial state law banning abortions signed on Friday after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
The legislation, which cleared the GOP-led legislature with some Republican opposition, makes it a crime for a doctor to end a pregnancy based on the knowledge about Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality that causes developmental delays and disorders such as heart defects and respiratory and hearing impairment.
It is the implementation of a abortion power, in such cases, a fourth degree crime, the call for a custodial sentence of up to 18 months in prison and requires the state medical board to withdraw from a convicted doctor’s license. Pregnant women, not to be punished in such proceedings. The law will enter into force in 90 days.
Kasich, in spite of the signing of the bill, has mentioned in the past that he had concerns about the law as unconstitutional, according to Cincinnati.com. This led him to veto a separate bill for the in the year 2016, the proposed a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
The anti-abortion group Ohio right to life, said that the bill was signed into law, a victory. “Now that the Down syndrome Non-Discrimination Act is a law, the unborn child prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome to be given a Chance at life,” the group’s President, Mike Gonidakis, said in a statement on Friday.
Abortion rights groups in the state argued that the new law would be another blow for the woman, the constitutional right to legal abortion.
The Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Kellie Copeland said, the law has nothing to support families in the care of family members with Down syndrome, but instead uses it as a part of a larger anti-choice strategy systematically all abortion care illegal.”
“This law is detrimental to women and have a chilling effect on the discussions between doctors and patients, because of the criminal penalties that physicians face,” said Copeland.
A statement from the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio on Friday said that Kasich had signed a “blatantly unconstitutional bill.” The civil rights group said it was in consultation with his legal staff and coalition partners to determine the next steps.
North Dakota and Indiana were ahead of Ohio in passing similar restrictions. The Indiana law was blocked by a Federal judge who said the state has to restrict no law to women, the reasons for the termination of pregnancies.
The Indiana measure was passed in the year 2016. North Dakota came into force in 2013, and have not been challenged. In this state, the only abortion clinic, in Fargo, says that the Problem has arisen under your policy, not the implementation of abortions after 16 weeks.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.