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April 14, 2021

Sixth Circuit Reverses Injunction Against Ohio Non-Discrimination Law

photo credit: Bill Oxford / Unsplash
On Tuesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 9-7 to lift a preliminary injunction against Ohio's Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Abortion Act.

The law prohibits a doctor from aborting a child if the doctor knows that the child's diagnosis with Down syndrome is her reason for seeking the abortion.

The bill was signed into law in 2017 by then-Governor John Kasich, but it has faced a long legal battle against Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses.

In a statement, Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis said, 

“This court ruling brings us one step closer to ensuring that vulnerable babies with special needs are not marked for death because of who they are. Every life is worth living and every precious and unique human being is worthy of complete protection under law.”

Judge Alice M. Batchelder wrote in her majority opinion that the restrictions created by the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Abortion Act "do not create a substantial obstacle to a woman’s ability to choose or obtain an abortion" and reasonably further Ohio's interests, which she listed in her opinion:

Ohio asserts that H.B. 214 furthers three valid and legitimate interests by protecting: (1) the Down syndrome community from the practice of Down-syndrome-selective abortions and the stigma associated with it; (2) pregnant women and their families from coercion by doctors who advocate the abortion of Down-syndrome-afflicted fetuses; and (3) the integrity and ethics of the medical profession by preventing doctors from becoming witting participants in Down-syndrome-selective abortions. These are legitimate interests.

By ruling in favor of this law, the sixth circuit is validating Ohio's right to protect unborn children with Down syndrome from unjust discrimination and death. 

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