The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit this week claimed that an Ohio law which prohibits physicians from performing abortions when they know the reason a woman is looking for an abortion is that her baby has allergies. It is a major win for pro-life advocates but might face an appeal to the Supreme Court.
The new law, H.B. 214, provides in relevant part:
No person shall purposely perform or induce or attempt to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant girl when the person has knowledge which the pregnant girl is looking for the abortion, in whole or in part, because of any of these:
(3) Another reason to think that an unborn child has Down syndrome.O.R.C. § 2919.10(B).
Those violating the law are subject to a cost of a fourth-degree statute together with the chance of around 18 months .
What is strange about the legislation is that it turns on real knowledge (“the individual has knowledge which the pregnant girl is looking for the abortion” because of a unborn child with Down Syndrome). Doctors that avert such knowledge would not be able to be charged. It also means that one girl has a constitutionally protected right to abortion when she does not state her motivation while another can be barred from an abortion when she’s honest about her motivation.
Judge Alice Batchelder wrote to the 9-7 bulk in writing which the legislation does not violate a woman’s right to abortion since”There is no absolute or a se right to an abortion based on the phase of the pregnancy” The bulk notes:
“In this instance, Ohio does not rely on its own interest in protecting potential fetal life as support for H.B. 214, at least not explicitly. Instead, Ohio depends upon its own interests : (1) protecting the Disease community by the stigma it suffers from the tradition of Down-syndrome-selective abortions; (2) protecting women whose fetuses suffer syndrome out of coercion by physicians who espouse and urge the abortion of such fetuses; and (3) protecting the integrity and integrity of the medical profession by preventing physicians from enabling such targeted abortions. Neither the goal, effect, validity, nor significance of one or more of these interests ends up on the viability of the fetus. The majority declared that”As limitations or prohibitions proceed, this can be specific and narrow,” she continued, and so it does not pose a”substantial obstacle” to a woman’s ability to get an abortion”
The majority concludes that”[a]so limitations or prohibitions proceed, this is specific and narrow,” and is not a”substantial obstacle” to a woman’s ability to get an abortion.
In his concurrence, Judge Richard Allen Griffin was more blunt and called the practice as equal to eugenics:”Many think that eugenics ended with all the horrors of the Holocaust. Regrettably, it didn’t. Eugenics has been the origin of the Holocaust and is a motivation for many of the selective abortions which occur now.”
In dissent, Judge Bernice Donald declared that”Before viability, the State’s interests aren’t strong enough to support a prohibition on abortion or the imposition of a significant obstacle to the woman’s effective right to elect the process.”
This case could pose a challenge for some members of the Supreme Court such as Chief Justice John Roberts. When it’s upheld, it might allow for similar limitations based on the motivation of a lady in searching for an abortion in different cases of disabilities. The premise has been that the right to a abortion was anticipated to be curtailed gradually by the Court rather than race that an outright overturning of the Roe cases. This could be an important win in that plan in developing an array of exceptions which could finally swallow the rule at Roe.
Here’s the situation.
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