Indianapolis, IN – Today, Indiana Right to Life (IRTL) issued the following statement regarding the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s ruling that Ohio’s Down Syndrome Non-Discrimation Act may go into effect. The Ohio law had been challenged by Planned Parenthood in the case Preterm Cleveland et al v. McCloud.
IRTL’s President Mike Fichter said:
“We are thrilled to see that the Sixth Circuit upheld Ohio’s Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act. Similar to Indiana’s 2016 discrimination abortion ban, this common-sense Ohio legislation protects the most vulnerable among us from discrimination based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome. We are pleased to see the Ohio law upheld and look forward to what the case moving forward might mean for Indiana’s law, which was enjoined by the Seventh Circuit.”
In 2016, then-Governor Mike Pence signed into law Indiana House Enrolled Act 1337, which banned abortions based on gender, race, or disability, including Down syndrome. The Seventh Circuit ruled against Indiana’s law in the case of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Inc et al v. Commission of the Indiana State Department of Health et al.
In 2019, the Supreme Court declined to hear that case on the merits of the law until more circuit courts of appeals weighed-in. However, in a separate opinion Justice Clarence Thomas indicated a willingness to hear a case should there be a split and wrote:
“Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement.”
The Ohio law prevents abortions following a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Former Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act back in 2017.