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The Latest: Praise, contempt for Down syndrome abortion law

December 22, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on a new Ohio law banning doctors from performing abortions based on diagnoses of Down syndrome (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

An anti-abortion group says a new Ohio law banning doctors from performing abortions based on diagnoses of Down syndrome will give unborn babies with the genetic disorder “a shot at life.” But abortion rights groups argue the law will be another blow to women’s constitutional right to legal abortion.

Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sihk) signed the legislation into law Friday.

The anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life says the law will prevent discrimination based on misinformation.

Abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio says the law is part of “an anti-choice strategy to systematically make all abortion care illegal.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio calls the legislation unconstitutional and says it’s determining its next steps.

North Dakota and Indiana were ahead of Ohio in passing similar restrictions, but Indiana’s has been blocked by a judge.

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12:35 p.m.

Ohio is prohibiting doctors from performing abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome, joining two other states with similarly strict legislation.

Republican Gov. John Kasich signed the legislation into law Friday.

The president of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life says it gives unborn babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome a “shot at life.” The executive director of the abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio predicts it will have a “chilling effect” on doctor-patient conversations.

Doctors who perform the procedures could face felony charges and would risk losing their medical license.

North Dakota and Indiana have passed similar restrictions. Indiana’s law has been blocked by a federal judge, who says the state has no right to limit women’s reasons for terminating a pregnancy.

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