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Federal Court Lets Ohio's Down Syndrome Abortion Ban Take Effect

A sign is displayed at Planned Parenthood of Utah Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Salt Lake City.
Rick Bowmer
/
Associated Press

A federal court has upheld an Ohio law prohibiting doctors from performing abortions based on a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

The ruling Tuesday by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned lower court rulings in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against the state health department, state medical board and county prosecutors in 2018 on behalf of Planned Parenthood and several abortion providers.

Lower courts ruled the ACLU's argument that the law infringes on a woman’s constitutional right to make “the ultimate decision” about an abortion would likely succeed. A divided 6th Circuit disagreed.

When the law was passed, Ohio become the third state in the country to ban abortion after a diagnosis of Down syndrome