Down Syndrome Abortion Fight In Ohio Takes Legal Twists

Mar 11, 2020

A federal court in Cincinnati will hear complex legal arguments for and against Ohio's Down syndrome abortion ban on Wednesday.

The case is viewed as pivotal in the national debate over the procedure. The Trump administration will argue before the full U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that the sidelined 2017 law doesn't actually ban any abortions. They say it impedes doctors, not pregnant women.

A group of mothers whose children have Down syndrome argues the so-called "Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act" actually discriminates against their children, singling out their fetal anomaly over many others in order to politicize the issue.

The ACLU of Ohio, representing Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, sued the Ohio Department of Health, the state medical board and county prosecutors, arguing that the ban creates an undue burden on the right to an abortion.

The appeals court agreed to re-hear the case after a three-judge panel ruled in October that the law was likely unconstitutional. The law remains blocked from taking effect.