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ACLU sues to stop Ohio’s Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act from taking effect March 22

by | Feb 15, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

Just because it was utterly predictable doesn’t make the sting any the less painful. Suing on behalf of Preterm Cleveland, Planned Parenthood of Ohio Southwest Region, Women’s Med Center of Dayton, Dr. Roslyn Kade, and Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, the ACLU today sued for a temporary restraining order to prevent an Ohio law that prohibits abortion for the sole reason of a Down syndrome diagnosis from going into effect March 22.

The measure overwhelmingly passed both houses of the legislature: 20-12 in the Senate, 63-30 in the House.

Under SB 164 it would be illegal for abortionists to commit or attempt to commit an abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Currently Indiana and North Dakota also ban abortions based on genetic anomalies.

According to Bennett Leckrone of the Columbus Dispatch, Freda Levenson said the ACLU filed the lawsuit asking for the TRO so a judge could consider the constitutionality of the bill.

“The bill masquerades as an anti-discrimination measure to protect people with Down syndrome,” said Chrisse France, the executive director of Preterm. “It’s just the most recent piece in a large, strategic campaign to restrict and ultimately eliminate abortion access in Ohio.”

Ohio Right to Life, which made passage of the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act its highest priority, said the law protect babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortion.

Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, responded to the lawsuit:

The ACLU of Ohio claims on their website that they “seek to preserve civil liberties for each new generation.” Their blatant and continuous attacks on the dignity and sanctity of human life make it clear that they do not care for the youngest of each new generations: the unborn.

Today, they have come out against the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act which would protect unborn babies from discriminatory abortions. 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. The ACLU is hurting Ohio by constantly suing to further an extremist agenda.

Ohio Right to Life will continue to fight to protect vulnerable Ohioans from discrimination and the violence of abortion.

Last year while SB 164 was being debated, the Columbus Dispatch’s Megan Henry quoted Sen. Frank LaRose, the bill’s sponsor, who said, “To me, this a matter of medical ethics,” adding “It’s a matter of what kind of society do we want to have here in the state of Ohio.”

As the bill was working its way through the House, Rep. Sarah LaTourette told the Toledo Blade the bill ends the lethal discrimination against Down syndrome children in the womb.

“I continue to say that this bill is about so much more than abortion,” Rep. LaTourette told Jim Provance. “I truly believe that it’s about discriminating against some of our most vulnerable, discriminating against an unborn child simply because they might have a Down syndrome diagnosis. That’s something that I find absolutely unacceptable.”

Categories: ACLU Down Syndrome