Senate President and Ohio Right to Life Urge AG Yost to Support Down Syndrome Abortion Ban and Yost Obliges


Attorney General Dave Yost filed a petition to the 6th Circuit Court for “REHEARING AND REHEARING EN BANC” (emphasis his) to reconsider their recent block of Ohio’s ban on Down Syndrome abortions Friday, Gongwer reported. Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) and Ohio Right to Life had pushed for reconsideration.

“En banc” is a request for the full court to hear the case. The decision to block the bill, and thus continue to allow abortion for babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome, was made by two justices in a panel of three from the 6th Circuit.

An article from The Ohio Star about the decision noted “the two judges who voted to block the law were Chief Judge R. Guy Cole Jr., who was appointed by former President Clinton, and Obama appointee Judge Bernice Bouie Donald.”

The dissenting Judge, Alice Moore Batchelder, wrote in her dissent, “Ohio concluded that permitting physicians to become witting accomplices to the deliberate targeting of Down syndrome babies would undermine the principle that the Down syndrome population is equal in value and dignity to the rest of Ohio’s population.”

She further noted, per Gongwer, “The state also makes the case that ‘anti-eugenics’ laws are necessary because eugenics damages the integrity of the medical profession.”

Yost penned two reasons in his petition for the full court to reconsider. The first was the decision contradicts U.S. Supreme Court precedent which allows states to regulate abortion. The second reiterates Judge Batchelder’s dissenting view, “…it raises the extraordinarily important issue of whether and how States can pursue their ‘compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics’.”

NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) Pro-Choice Ohio declared Yost’s petition, “…a waste of taxpayer money.” Gongwer quoted the Executive Director, Kelli Copeland, “Earlier this month the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rightfully upheld the earlier ruling that this unconstitutional restriction on abortion should not go into effect as it makes its way through the court process.”

Further stated in Yost’s petition, “It [eugenics] is also dangerous for the medical profession…And it threatens to unwind much of this country’s progress toward its founding ideal that everyone is created equal. If some traits are bad enough to justify culling unborn children who exhibit them, anyone born with those traits is also marked as inferior. ‘There is no caste’ in America. Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 559 (1896) (Harlan, J., dissenting). If eugenic abortions become more common, there will be.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Ohio State House” by Alexander Smith. CC BY-SA 3.0.






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