House Bill 214 champions equality for the unborn

In December of 2017, legislation providing protections and equality for unborn children was signed into law by Governor Kasich. Also known as the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act, House Bill 214 was one I was proud to support, as it makes great strides in the fight for the rights and futures of Ohio’s unborn.

H.B. 214 prohibits anyone from performing an abortion for a woman who is seeking one for the reason that her child has been or may be diagnosed with Down syndrome. If medical personnel proceeds with the abortion, the patient would receive criminal immunity but the person providing the procedure would be guilty of a fourth degree felony. Additionally, the State Medical Board would revoke his or her license.

I believe this bill is a common sense measure aimed at protecting some of society’s most vulnerable. Ninety percent of pregnant women who are given the possibility of a Down syndrome diagnosis choose abortion. This is nothing less than discrimination, plain and simple.

H.B. 214 does not brush aside the challenges of raising a child with Down syndrome, nor is it intended to minimize the fact that sometimes a parent or family is simply unable to care for someone with special needs, both of which are situations Ohioans encounter every day. There are many wonderful organizations throughout our state and in our own district available to those who need assistance, such as the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley.

In the Ohio House, I strive to fight for equality and against discrimination at every possible opportunity, and this legislation was an opportunity to do so. Whether born or still within the womb, every child deserves to be given an equal chance at life, and that is what House Bill 214 ensures for Ohio’s children.

95th Ohio House District Representative Andy Thompson may be reached by calling 614-644-8728, e-mailing Rep95@ohiohouse.gov, or by writing to State Rep. Andy Thompson, 77 South High St., Columbus, Ohio, 43215.

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