The Ohio House passed a bill Tuesday that would ban abortions based on prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome. The Ohio Senate has an identical bill on the table.
House Bill 214, also known as the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act, is sponsored by Reps. Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) and Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township), and it would make it illegal for abortionists to commit or attempt to commit an abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Rep. LaTourette said the bill ends the lethal discrimination against Down syndrome children in the womb.
“I continue to say that this bill is about so much more than abortion,” Rep. LaTourette said. “I truly believe that it’s about discriminating against some of our most vulnerable, discriminating against an unborn child simply because they might have a Down Syndrome diagnosis. That’s something that I find absolutely unacceptable.”
Violators would face a fourth-degree felony charge, and as a penalty, if convicted, the abortionist would lose his or her license to practice in Ohio, could face up to 18 months prison time, and may be held personally liable.
While certain prenatal tests for Down syndrome can be done in the first trimester, other more definitive diagnostic tests are typically done between 15 and 20 weeks gestation. At this time, if a mother chooses to abort her baby with Down syndrome, a D&E abortion — like the one depicted below by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino — may be committed, up to 24 weeks gestation. The child at this stage can feel pain (possibly even from the eighth week of gestation), and the procedure involves dismemberment while the child is alive:
Children with Down syndrome are often aborted in the United States because parents are often pressured or given incorrect information on the condition, and they are not informed of the advances in science and medicine that allow people with Down syndrome to lead successful lives. Today, people with Down syndrome receive equal education alongside their peers, and many live on their own, get married, and hold jobs.
The Ohio House Health Committee will also be holding a hearing on November 2, 2017, concerning House Bill 258 — the Heartbeat Bill — a ban on abortions after a heartbeat is detectable.