Columbus — On a 20-12 vote, the Ohio Senate approved their version of the Down syndrome abortion ban, Senate Bill 164. Three Republican senators — Matt Dolan, Gayle Manning, and Stephanie Kunze — joined the full Democratic caucus in opposing the bill.
The Senate action follows a separate vote on matching legislation by the Ohio House last month. Either the House or Senate version of the bill would still have to go through the opposite chamber before going to Gov. Kasich for signature or veto. A federal judge in Indiana blocked that state’s version of this legislation. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio strongly opposes this unconstitutional attack on reproductive rights.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “It is not our place to judge or decide for any woman what she should do, or prevent her from having honest conversations about her options with her physician—especially following a complicated medical diagnosis. This legislation criminalizes those important conversations and callously disregards the unique circumstances that surround each woman’s pregnancy. This abortion ban is both immoral and unconstitutional.
Copeland continued: “In committee hearings in both the House and Senate, we heard from doctors, and parents of children with Down syndrome. They all want women to have the power to make their own decisions on how and when they raise a family. They all oppose this bill.
“Ohio Right to Life claims this legislation is about disability rights, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This bill does nothing to provide support to people living with disabilities. Just like every other abortion ban, this legislation is part of a larger anti-abortion strategy to ban abortion in every circumstance.”