Judge Blocks Ohio Law Banning Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 15, 2018   |   6:54PM   |   Columbus, Ohio

An Ohio judge with close ties to Planned Parenthood blocked a state law Wednesday that protects unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortions.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black issued a preliminary injunction against the law, arguing federal law is “crystal clear” that states may not prohibit abortions before viability, WOSU Radio reports.

Black is a Barack Obama appointee and a former director and president of Planned Parenthood of Cincinnati, the radio station reported in 2014. At the time, Black recused himself from another lawsuit involving the abortion chain.

Last year, Ohio legislators passed a law to prohibit abortions when done specifically because an unborn baby has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. Later, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the state.

“It is a shame that an organization that claims to be the very biggest and best at defending victims of discrimination completely disregards the most vulnerable members of our society who are being discriminated against,” Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, said at the time.

In a statement to CNN this week, Gonidakis praised pro-life Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for “fiercely” defending the non-discrimination law.

DeWine’s spokesman Dan Tierney said they are reviewing Black’s ruling, and promised the office “will continue to vigorously defend Ohio law.”

Here’s more from the local news:

Ohio would have been the third state with a Down syndrome abortion ban. But U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black writes that federal law is crystal clear that a state may not prohibit a woman from deciding to terminate a pregnancy before viability.

In a statement, pro-choice groups said they’re committed to stopping the law, which they say would interfere with the trust between women and doctors and open the door to further intrusion by politicians into personal health decisions.

North Dakota and Indiana also protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortions. Earlier this week, Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced legislation to do the same.

Unborn babies with Down syndrome are targeted for abortions at astronomical rates.

A recent CBS News report shocked the nation with its exposure of the discriminatory abortion trend. According to the report, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland. The rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the United Kingdom and 67 percent in the United States between 1995 and 2011, according to CBS.

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Some put the rate as high as 90 percent in the United States, but it is difficult to determine the exact number because the U.S. government does not keep detailed statistics about abortion.

One of the key advocates of the Ohio law is Kelly Kuhns, a Plain City mother and nurse whose son has Down syndrome. Kuhns told the Columbus Dispatch doctors suggested she abort her son, but she immediately refused.

Despite her resolve, she said the news of her son’s diagnosis troubled her, and the medical counseling did not help.

“They tell you of these horrific things that can happen, the different anomalies, cardiac issues,” she told the AP. “So you plan for the worst, and I really feel like you’re given a death sentence.”

Today, her son Oliver, a toddler, is doing well. Kuhns said he has more medical appointments than her other children, but he leads a “pretty normal life” otherwise.