Kasich should sign Down Syndrome bill

Babies born with Down syndrome face many challenges. So do their parents.

But they share one quality with other babies: They are human beings. Their physical and intellectual capacities may be limited, but they are tiny boys and girls.

Advances in technology have made it possible, at least in some cases, to determine that fetuses have Down syndrome. Some women, informed of that, choose to have their babies aborted solely because of the condition.

On Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s desk is a bill sent to him this week by the General Assembly, that would make it a crime to abort a baby solely because the unborn child has Down syndrome. Violators would be guilty of fourth-degree felonies. Doctors could have their licenses to practice medicine in the state revoked. Doctors not aware of mothers’ motivation in seeking such abortions would not be held liable.

Opponents of the bill have made the same old excuses. “This is another unconstitutional step toward taking a woman’s right to choose away,” insisted state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, during debate over the measure.

It may be that the bill, if signed into law, will be ruled unconstitutional. A federal court has struck down a similar law in Indiana.

But the Ohio proposal is based simply on a belief that women do not have the right to choose whether unborn children who do not meet their hopes should have their lives cut short before they can even be born.

Many of us know children or adults with Down syndrome. Should someone else have been allowed to decide they were not perfect enough to live?

Kasich should sign the bill into law.