Ohio lawmakers pass Down Syndrome abortion ban

Abortion legislation

(Columbus) - The Ohio Senate has ok'd a bill banning abortions based on a diagnosis of Down Syndrome.

The measure cleared the chamber 20-12 Wednesday, a day after it cleared the Senate Health Committee.

The legislation would subject doctors who perform abortions in such cases to criminal penalties and potential loss of their medical licenses. 

Women receiving the abortions would not be punished.

Republican Senator Matt Dolan of Chagrin Falls is pro-choice, but voted against the bill. He believes it will face many legal challenges. 

Dolan tells Newsradio WTAM 1100, the bill would treat Down Syndrome differently than healthy infants, or babies with other disorders, so it would not provide equal protection under the law. 

Dolan feels the bill would have a chilling effect on communication between women and their doctors, and might even prompt women not to take certain tests. 

Dolan also says the bill would criminalize a constitutionally legal procedure, and would likely be struck down. 

Supporters argue terminating pregnancies in such cases amounts to discrimination.

The House and Senate must now reconcile their versions, which are actually the same. Lawmakers would have to decide which one would be sent to the governor.

(Photo by Getty Images) 

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