House Bill 214 is supported by Ohio Right to Life and opposed by NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. If it becomes law it would:
• Ban abortions once testing indicates the fetus has Down syndrome;
• Require the State Medical Board to revoke a physician’s license if the doctor violates the prohibition;
• Give the woman criminal immunity if she undergoes an abortion;
• Permits lawmakers who sponsored the bill to intervene in any legal challenge to the constitutionality of the bill.
Down syndrome is a chromosome disorder in which extra genetic material changes the course of develoment. Common traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes and a single deep crease across the center of the palm, according to the National Down Syndrome Society. About 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born each year in the United States.
The House Health Committee also held a hearing Wednesday on the latest version of the “heartbeat bill,” which would ban abortions once a heartbeat can be detected. Typically, a heartbeat can be detected about six weeks into a pregnancy.