Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Abortion and Down Syndrome

AUG. 25, 2015

It is tempting to dismiss the latest anti-choice salvo from Ohio lawmakers, which would criminalize abortions based on a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome, as a blatantly unconstitutional ploy that would never be enforced.

That would be a mistake. The bill stands a disturbingly good chance of approval this fall by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature, which has been passing abortion restrictions as quickly as it can write them in the four-plus years since Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who is also running for president, took office.

These politicians routinely spout the virtues of limited government, and yet they are eager to place all manner of obstacles in the way of women trying to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion. The latest bill would go even further, purporting to tell a woman that her personal, private reason for ending her pregnancy is not good enough.

A similar bill passed in North Dakota in 2013 bans abortions on the grounds of fetal genetic anomalies, including Down syndrome. The law has not yet been enforced — under existing Supreme Court precedent it is hard to see how it could be — but as with so many restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, that is not the only measure of its power.

(More here.)


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