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Federal Judge Blocks Down Syndrome Abortion Ban Before It Takes Effect Next Week

Pro-choice advocates unfurled a banner made from petitions signed by the Down syndrome ban's opponents in Speaker Cliff Rosenberger's office in October.
Pro-choice advocates unfurled a banner made from petitions signed by the Down syndrome ban's opponents in Speaker Cliff Rosenberger's office in October.

A federal judge has ruled a new state law that would ban abortion after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome is unconstitutional, and has blocked it a little more than a week before it was to go into effect.

Ohio would have been the third state with a Down syndrome abortion ban. But U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black writes that federal law is crystal clear that a state may not prohibit a woman from deciding to terminate a pregnancy before viability. In a statement, pro-choice groups said they’re committed to stopping the law, which they say would interfere with the trust between women and doctors and open the door to further intrusion by politicians into personal health decisions. Ohio Right to Life said in a statement that the court prioritized “abortion-on-demand” over special needs children, but that it’s pleased that pro-life Attorney General Mike DeWine will fiercely defend the law.

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