Similarly, anti-abortion activists at Susan B. Anthony List hailed the law's passage as "an early Christmas present" to unborn children with Down syndrome because it "created a safe haven from lethal discrimination".
An anti-abortion group says a new OH law banning doctors from performing abortions based on diagnoses of Down syndrome will give unborn babies with the genetic disorder "a shot at life". "One nation even claims to have used abortion to eradicate Down syndrome - proudly slaughtering innocent babies", ACLJ said in a statement.
Doctors who perform the procedures could face felony charges and would risk losing their medical license. But abortion rights groups argue the law will be another blow to women's constitutional right to legal abortion. According to a 2012 study originally published in Prenatal Diagnosis, families and individuals choose abortion between 50 and 85 percent of the time following a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
The executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, Kellie Copeland, said the law does nothing to support families taking care of loved ones with Down syndrome but instead "exploits them as part of a larger anti-choice strategy to systematically make all abortion care illegal".More news: Prince County could see 15 centimetres of snow Christmas Day
More news: Apple admits it's slowing down old phones on goal
More news: BJP names Jairam Thakur as Himachal Pradesh CM
Opponents say such a law would damage doctor-patient relationships and does nothing to improve lives of those with Down syndrome.
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of OH have also opposed the ban, arguing it sets a risky precedent.
Laws similar to Ohio's new Down syndrome abortion ban have, in recent years, been passed in IN and North Dakota. While a federal judge has blocked the IN law, North Dakota's law has not been challenged and has been IN effect since 2013. The law will go into effect in 90 days. The Republican governor had previously vetoed the "heartbeat bill", which would have banned abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, but signed another bill prohibiting abortions after the fifth month, or 20 weeks.
Now that the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act is law, unborn babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are given a shot at life.