Ohio's ban on aborting babies with Down syndrome
Several states have recently enacted laws banning abortion on the grounds of sex, race, or disability of the baby. Last year, the Supreme Court avoided ruling on the issue, which was among the provisions of a challenged Indiana law. The court upheld a regulation requiring aborted babies to be aborted or cremated, but declined to make a decision on the remainder of the law, saying the topic had not yet received adequate consideration at the appellate level.
Further appellate court consideration of such laws could come out of Ohio, where a 2017 law banning abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis is currently being challenged. The law was quickly blocked from taking effect, and a panel of judges from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction in October 2019. In a rare move, however, the full appellate court then agreed to rehear the case. Arguments were heard in March, and a ruling has not yet been issued.
Attorneys defending the Ohio law say it operates within the framework established by Roe v. Wade and subsequent cases, because the state has a compelling interest in protecting the Down syndrome population from discrimination and elimination. Those challenging the law disagree. The losing party will likely appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, setting up a chance for the high court to rule on the issue of "eugenic abortions."
Texas' law prohibiting D&E abortions
A few states have also banned Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) abortions, sometimes known as "dismemberment abortion," a method of abortion which is most commonly performed in the second trimester.