ACLU Challenges Ohio Abortion Ban

PUBLISHED: 9:23 PM 16 Feb 2018

ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Ohio’s Down Syndrome Abortion Ban

They claim it’s in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Earlier this week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against a law in the state of Ohio banning the abortion of unborn children with Down syndrome because it supposedly violates the 14th Amendment.

Earlier this week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against a law in the state of Ohio banning the abortion of unborn children with Down syndrome. They claim the law, HB 214, violates the 14th Amendment.

Specifically, the ACLU recently filed a complaint on behalf of Preterm Cleveland and Planned Parenthood demanding that the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio strike down the state’s ban on slaughtering unborn children with Down syndrome.

“By striking at the very heart of the Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy and autonomy, H.B. 214 imposes an unconstitutional undue burden on the abortion right, and Plaintiffs are therefore entitled to declaratory and injunctive relief against its enforcement,” they explained in their complaint.

To clarify, they added, “by prohibiting pre-viability abortions based on the woman’s reason for seeking the care, the Act violates the rights to liberty and privacy secured to Plaintiffs’ patients by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

By saying this, the ACLU is basically claiming that the government must allow women to slaughter their unborn children for whatever reason they want.

This, however, is clearly ridiculous. When someone kills someone with Down syndrome after they’re born, their reasoning for doing so absolutely matters and determines whether or not they’ll be charged with a crime. If the killing is in the self-defense of others, for instance, then they likely won’t be punished. If it’s unprovoked and based on the fact that they have Down syndrome, though, then they’ll undoubtedly be thrown in jail.

The same reasoning should be applied toward abortion. This means that a doctor who aborts a baby because the mother’s life is in danger should not be treated the same as a doctor who does so simply because the mother doesn’t want a child with Down syndrome.

Unfortunately, the ACLU’s chances of winning their lawsuit are quite high. This is because, when lawmakers in Indiana tried to implement a similar ban, it was promptly struck down by a federal judge.

Specifically, back in September 2017, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, an Obama appointee, struck down several parts of House Enrolled Act 1337, which was a state law prohibiting abortion doctors from knowingly ending the life of a fetus solely because of a genetic disability, such as Down syndrome. The law also prohibited murdering unborn children because of their race or sex and required aborted or miscarried babies to be cremated or buried.

According to Pratt, such provisions protecting unborn people from unnecessary death are unconstitutional. “The challenged anti-discrimination provisions directly contravene well-established law that precludes a state from prohibiting a woman from electing to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability,” argued Pratt in her decision.

“The very notion that, pre-viability, a State can examine the basis for a woman’s choice to make this private, personal and difficult decision, if she at some point earlier decided she wants a child as a general matter, is inconsistent with the notion of a right rooted in privacy concerns and a liberty right to make independent decisions,” she added. 

Sadly, bans against killing unborn children with Down syndrome aren’t the only pro-life laws that the authoritarian left are actively challenging. They’re also targeting legislation prohibiting doctors from performing a dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion, which is a barbaric second-trimester abortion technique that essentially involves using medical forceps to rip fetuses, sometimes limb from limb, out of their mothers.

Back in November 2017, for instance, liberals in Texas managed to convince Judge Lee Yeakel, a federal judge with the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, to strike down SB 8, which is a state law banning D&E abortions.

According to Judge Yeakel, such a cruel and unusual procedure must not be prohibited because it’s one of the easiest methods available.

“The State’s valid interest in promoting respect for the life of the unborn, although legitimate, is not sufficient to justify such a substantial obstacle to the constitutionally protected right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability,” reasoned Yeakel in his decision.

“That a woman may make the decision to have an abortion before a fetus may survive outside her womb is solely and exclusively the woman’s decision. The power to make this decision is her right,” he explained, adding, “requiring a woman to undergo an unwanted, risky, invasive, and experimental procedure in exchange for exercising her right to choose an abortion, substantially burdens that right.”

But clearly, his reasoning is utterly absurd. It doesn’t matter if it’s the easiest method available if it involves cruel and unusual punishment.

That would be like advocating for cruel and unusual forms of punishment for prisoners simply because they’re easier alternatives even though the Supreme Court has made it clear that doing so violates the Constitution. If such reasoning is unconstitutional when it comes to executing prisoners, then it follows that it’s also unconstitutional when it comes to executing the unborn.

Unborn children with genetic disorders have just as much of a right to life as anyone else. They shouldn’t be killed simply because they’re born differently.

Hopefully, although unlikely, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio understands this and ultimately rules against the ACLU. If they don’t, then the state of Ohio needs to continue fighting for the unborn by appealing the decision.