Columbus — The Ohio Senate passed the House version of the Down syndrome abortion ban, HB 214. The bill now goes to Gov. Kasich for consideration. As with the Senate version of the bill, SB 164, passed in the chamber earlier this year, today’s 20 – 12 vote was not along party lines, with Republicans joining the entire Democratic caucus in opposing the legislation. To oppose the bill pro-choice activists wore shirts spelling out “STOP THE BANS” in the Senate chamber as the vote went forward.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland: “Long before the national media focus was on Donald Trump — John Kasich was enacting one attack after another on access to abortion and other critical reproductive health care. Kasich has inappropriately pushed his way into the lives of tens of thousands of people who seek safe and legal abortion care in Ohio each year. This has to stop. Creating yet another law that criminalizes physicians with a felony for providing abortion care will create a chilling effect on the medical profession in our state and could result in a shortage of gynecologists willing to practice in Ohio.”
As governor, John Kasich has signed 19 attacks on abortion rights and funding for reproductive health care providers. He has misrepresented his own record, claiming to insist on exceptions for rape and incest while signing multiple bans with no exceptions.
Copeland continued: “This bill prevents a woman from having honest conversations about her options with her physician following a complicated medical diagnosis. This legislation callously disregards the unique circumstances that surround each woman’s pregnancy. Kasich should be to it.”
As a pre-viability abortion ban, HB 214 and SB 164 are blatantly unconstitutional. A similar abortion ban was blocked in Indiana by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on September 25, 2017.