US Court Lifts Hold on Ohio’s Down Syndrome Abortion Law

DM

A divided federal appeals court lifted the hold Tuesday on an Ohio law that prohibits doctors from performing abortions based on a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome, a case considered nationally pivotal. Judges of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals narrowly ruled to reverse two earlier decisions blocking enforcement of the 2017 law based on the likely success of overturning it as unconstitutional. A majority of the court, which has moved rightward in recent years with six appointments by former President Donald Trump, said the law doesn’t impede a woman’s right to an abortion. The majority said Planned Parenthood and several other abortion providers represented by the American Civil Liberties Union erred in basing their case on a woman’s “absolute right” to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, because that right is neither absolute nor germane to the case. “In this case, Ohio does not rely on its interest in protecting potential fetal life,” the ruling said.

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