The United States Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit this week upheld an Ohio law prohibiting doctors from performing abortions if they know why a woman wants an abortion because her baby has Down syndrome. It’s a huge win for pro-life advocates but could appeal to the Supreme Court.
The new law HB 214 provides for this Part:
No person shall intentionally perform or induce or attempt to perform or induce any performance Abortion in a pregnant woman when the person knows the pregnant woman Woman seeks abortion, in whole or in part, because of one of the The following:
(1) A test result indicative of Down syndrome in an unborn child;
(2) A prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome in an unborn child;
(3) Any other reason to believe that an unborn child has Down syndrome.ORC § 2919.10 (B).
Persons who violate the law will be charged a fee of a fourth degree Crimes with the possibility of imprisonment for up to 18 months.
The strange thing about the law is that it activates actual knowledge (“The person has the knowledge that the pregnant one Woman seeks abortion “because of an unborn child with Down syndrome). Doctors who avoid this knowledge cannot be incriminated. It also means that one woman has a constitutionally protected right to abortion if she does not state her motivation, while another woman can be excluded from having an abortion if she is honest about her motivation.
Judge Alice Batchelder wrote for the 9-7 majority that the law does not violate a woman’s right to abortion because “There is no absolute or per se right to an abortion based on the stage of pregnancy. “The majority states:
“In this case, Ohio is not relying on its interest in protecting the potential life of the fetus for support for HB 214 at least not explicitly. Instead, Ohio relies on his Interests in: (1) Protection of Down syndrome community from the stigma that it suffers from the practice of Down syndromeselective abortions; (2) Protect women whose fetuses have Down syndrome from coercion Doctors who advocate and advocate abortion for all of these fetuses; and (3) protection of the Integrity and ethics of the medical profession by preventing doctors from taking such targeted action Abortions. Neither the intention, the effect, nor the validityThe importance of one of these interests does not change either on the viability of the fetus. The majority stated, “In terms of restrictions or prohibitions, this is specific and narrow,” she went on, and so it is not a “major barrier” to a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion. “
The majority come to the conclusion that “[a]s Restrictions or prohibitions go, this is specific and narrow “and is not a” major obstacle “to a woman’s ability to get an abortion.
In his approval, Judge Richard Allen Griffin was even more obtuse, describing the practice as eugenics-like: “Many believe that eugenics ended with the horrors of the Holocaust. Unfortunately not. Eugenics was the root of the Holocaust and is a motivation for many of the selective abortions that are taking place today. “
In contradiction, Judge Bernice Donald stated: “Before viability, the interests of the state are not strong enough to support a ban on abortion or the imposition of a major obstacle to effective women’s suffrage.”
This case could pose a challenge for some members of the Supreme Court, such as Chief Justice John Roberts. If confirmed, it could allow for similar limitations based on a woman’s motivation to seek an abortion in other cases of disability. It was believed that the Court of Justice would likely gradually restrict the right to abortion rather than permanently overturning Roe’s cases. This would be a huge hit with this strategy when it comes to creating a multitude of exceptions that could ultimately swallow the rule in Roe.
Here is the case.