Federal government sides with Ohio on bill banning abortions based on Down syndrome

by Daniel Payne · Jan 22nd, 2020 4:12 pm

Last Updated Jan 22nd, 2020 at 6:33 pm

The Trump administration's Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that it was siding with the state of Ohio regarding a controversial bill there that forbids physicians from performing abortions because the unborn babies has been diagnosed with Down syndrome.

The law, which will be brought before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on retrial, would charge a doctor with a fourth-degree felony if he or she performed an abortion based on a Down syndrome diagnosis. Doctors would also face the loss of their medical licenses, as well as legal damages.

The Supreme Court has previously held that any law that "substantially burdens" a woman obtaining an abortion is unconstitutional. The Justice Department on Wednesday argued that "nothing in Ohio's [Down syndrome] law creates a substantial obstacle to women obtaining an abortion."