Catholic Medical Association Applauds New Ohio Law Banning Abortions based on Down Syndrome Diagnosis

PHILADELPHIA, PA – December 28, 2017 – The Catholic Medical Association (CMA) applauds Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) for signing into law a state bill that would ban abortions based solely on a Down syndrome diagnosis.

The bill, known as the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act, would make it illegal for a doctor to perform or induce “an abortion on a pregnant woman who is seeking the abortion because an unborn child has or may have Down syndrome. “

“Every human being is created in the image and likeness of God,” said, Dr. Marie-Alberte Boursiquot. “This is the basis of human dignity and every human being deserves to live. We congratulate Governor Kasich for his courage in standing for life.”

The bill makes performing abortions in such situations a fourth-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 18 months in prison, a $5,000 fine and requires the state medical board to revoke a convicted doctor’s medical license. Women who break the law would face no penalties.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio has called it a “blatantly unconstitutional bill.” However, Bishop Conley, of the Diocese of Lincoln, NE and CMA Episcopal Advisor says it’s a pro-life victory. “Only one child was born perfect in every way. The rest of us struggle with our own various shortcomings and disabilities. Everyone should have a chance at life.”

An identical law in Indiana, enacted in 2016, has been blocked by a federal judge, who said the state has no right to limit women’s reasons for terminating pregnancies. A similar law in North Dakota went into effect in 2013 and has not been challenged.

A 2012 study published by Prenatal Diagnosis suggests that while termination rates for Down syndrome pregnancies were trending downwards nationally in recent years, up to 85 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are killed.

The Catholic Medical Association is a national, physician-led community of over 2,000 healthcare professionals consisting of 99 local guilds. CMA mission is to inform, organize, and inspire its members, in steadfast fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church, to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine.

Susanne LaFrankie, MA
Director of Communications
Catholic Medical Association
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
C: 609-868-2005
W: 484-270-8002 x 16
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