Monday, August 24, 2015

Ohio, like some other states, seeks to ban abortions based on motive of the mother (detected Down Syndrome)

Ohio has a bill that would ban any abortion motivated by a finding that the unborn will have Down Syndrome, as detailed in a Sunday New York Times story by Tamar Lewin, link here.    CNN has a critical story by David Perry here. The text of HB 135 is here  on the Ohio legislature’s website.

Basing a ban on second-term pregnancy terminations (or even early) on the "motives" of the mother could seem to run afoul of Roe v Wade, but several states have tried it. Such laws can easily be criticized as meddling in a woman's doctor-patient relationship, normally protected by HIPAA.
Pro-choice forces have difficulty keeping up with these laws. 
CNN points out that Down Syndrome is easy to detect early in the Second Trimester by amniocentesis. The New York Times article quotes someone as saying, “we all want our children to be born perfect” but goes on to assume the blessing of loving someone not gifted or much less than perfect – something that seems necessary (for people to be open to)  if you don’t want to allow a culture to slip toward Nazism.  

Abortion has always sounded like a double-edged issue.  It’s really about a lot more than forcing people to deal with the consequences of sexual intercourse, or even claiming that the unborn has the full rights of anyone.  Anyone takes chances when having children, inside or outside marriage.  It can tempt people into avoiding all the risk.

I did that for decades, but when I became a substitute teacher in 2004, I was confronted with what this can mean very quickly, whatever my previous “choices”. None of it was pretty. None of it was personally welcome. 

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