The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Ohio’s pro-life law H.B. 214 in 9 to 7 ruling, outlawing abortion based on whether a child has Down Syndrome.
The decision reversed a district court’s decision for a preliminary injunction requested by abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. The providers argue a woman’s right to choose abortion should be unrestricted prior to birth.
Planned Parenthood and Preterm-Cleveland sued the state in February 2018, claiming the law “criminalizes performing an abortion” if the person has knowledge of fetal indication with Down syndrome.
The 9-7 ruling included 11 Republican and five Democrat appointees. All nine appointees who ruled in support of the bill were Republican appointees.
Judge Alice Batchelder, who was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush wrote, “The right to an abortion before viability is not absolute. The State may regulate abortion before viability as long as it does not impose an undue burden on a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.”
We hold that the restrictions imposed, or burdens created, by H.B. 214 do not create a substantial obstacle to a woman’s ability to choose or obtain an abortion. Moreover, those restrictions are reasonably related to, and further, Ohio’s legitimate interests.
Therefore, H.B. 214 is valid in all conceivable cases and the plaintiffs cannot succeed on the merits of their claim.
Some pro-life advocates argue the Supreme Court should now rule based on the Ohio law.
In a statement, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said the ruling “upholds Ohio as a safe haven for unborn babies with Down Syndrome.”