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A divided federal appeals court on Friday ruled that Ohio cannot enforce a 2017 law banning abortions when medical tests show the baby has Down syndrome.
Signed into law by Gov. John Kasich in 2017, measure imposes criminal penalties on doctors who perform abortions after learning that there's been a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld a preliminary injunction saying that the law was invalid because it had the purpose and effect of preventing some women from obtaining pre-viability abortions, violating Supreme Court precedents.
In February 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed suit to block the law from taking effect. One month later, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Black halted the law, saying it violated a woman’s right to privacy.
On Friday the panel of three judges upheld Black’s ruling in a 2-1 decision. A spokesman for Republican Attorney General Dave Yost will ask the full 6th Circuit to review the case, according to Reuters. A large majority of the 6th Circuit court's members were appointed by Republican presidents, but Friday's majority consisted of Democratic appointees.
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