How Ohio Is Using Down Syndrome to Criminalize Abortion - Pacific Standard
With all the intensity of focus on national politics—currently shifting from Trumpcare (which would arguably kill Americans) to the Trump Tax Plan (which would merely redistribute money to the most wealthy)—it’s easy to overlook ongoing outrages at the state level. But when it comes to limiting reproductive rights, the main action is taking place in GOP legislatures around the country.
By February of this year, 168 anti-choice bills had already been introduced in various legislatures, many of them advancing quickly through the system. New laws in Texas and Kentucky have already been passed and struck down by federal judges. Now, Ohio Republicans are the latest group to seize on Down syndrome as a wedge issue in the fight against reproductive choice. Senate Bill 164 would make it a felony for doctors to knowingly perform an abortion after a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
A few things to make clear: I am the father of a 10-year-old with Down syndrome. Nobody has more concerns about the rights of people with Down syndrome than I do. Yet I stand unequivocally opposed to this bill. It will not help people with Down syndrome. Even assuming it survives legal challenge, it is unlikely to result in fewer abortions. What it will do, however, is criminalize speech between a woman and her doctor. It will intensify the very stigma that drives so many people to terminate otherwise wanted pregnancies after they receive a prenatal diagnosis.