Columbus, Ohio | Gov. John Kasich (right) signed a law Dec. 22 prohibiting abortions in cases where prenatal tests reveal Down syndrome or if there’s “any other reason to believe” the genetic condition exists.
The bill was Kasich’s 20th pro-life law since he took office in 2013, WORLD magazine reported, including a 20-week abortion ban he signed in December 2016.
“People with Down syndrome, or any other genetic anomaly, should never be discriminated against,” Ingrid Duran of the National Right to Life Committee told WORLD. “These babies always deserve protection, and families deserve a better option than abortion.”
The law, which goes into effect March 22, will mean physicians who perform abortions after a diagnosis of Down syndrome would face a fourth-degree felony, USA Today reported, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Ohio isn’t the first state to pass a Down Syndrome abortion ban. North Dakota and Indiana have similar laws, although the Indiana ban was blocked by a federal judge in 2016.