Anti-abortion activists in Ohio want to bar women from getting abortions solely because they do not wish to have a baby with Down syndrome, rallying around a bill endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee.
The Ohio House and Senate will likely pass the bill sometime this fall, according to the New York Times, because most of the state’s legislators oppose abortion and have been endorsed by the committee. However, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) has not yet taken a position on the bill, so it is unclear if he will authorize it, though he has signed many other abortion restrictions into law.
Because women can undergo prenatal testing to see if their baby will be afflicted with certain diseases and disorders, between 50 and 85 percent of women who discover that their baby might have Down syndrome have chosen an abortion, according to a review of studies conducted between 1995 and 2011. But that number has declined over the years when compared to earlier studies conducted in the 1990s, the review notes.
Critics of the bill say that the ban would be difficult to enforce and likely violates the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which delineates that women can choose to get an abortion at any point until the fetus is viable. It also affects the definition of the right to choose an abortion as a private matter between the patient and her doctor.
“These legislative proposals interfere with the doctor-patient relationship and exploit complicated issues that can arise during pregnancy in the worst way,” Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Medical decisions should not be made in the Statehouse, they should be made in doctors’ offices based on sound medical science.”
Absolutely this ban would be a violation of the entire core of Roe v. Wade. Once again, there is a whittling away of women’s rights before our very eyes. No one seems to be noticing. This is one reason I see the gun side of things. It’s the death by 1000 paper cuts mentality. Gun rights activists believe, and perhaps rightly so, that if they give an inch, they will lose their rights. Reproductive rights people have similar beliefs as they see their rights whittled away.
How dare any government attempt to force a woman to bear a child? One of the fallacies we make is to brush these restrictions aside and assume that the woman can just go to another state. That’s a real option if the woman has means. Poor women not only can’t afford a special needs child, they often can’t afford an abortion.
When the government starts forcing women to have children, then I hope they plan on paying for all the upkeep and medical services, child care and special schooling. Deciding on abortion for fetal anomaly is a personal decision and often a difficult one. It should be no one’s business except hers and those she choses to include in the decision-making process.