A divided federal appeals court panel ruled Friday that Ohio cannot enforce a 2017 law banning abortions when medical tests show the baby has Down syndrome.
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld a preliminary injunction saying that the law was invalid because it had the purpose and effect of preventing some women from obtaining pre-viability abortions, which violates Supreme Court precedents.
Signed into law by then-Gov. John Kasich in 2017, the measure imposed criminal penalties on doctors who perform abortions after learning of a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
In February 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed suit to block the law from taking effect. One month later, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Black halted the law, saying it violated a woman’s right to privacy.
Protesters with shirts saying “Stop the Bans” in the Ohio Senate chamber after legislators passed a bill in 2017 banning abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis. (AP)
On Friday the panel of three judges upheld Black’s ruling in a 2-1 decision. A spokesman for Republican Attorney General Dave Yost said the state will ask the