"DOWN SYNDROME ABORTION BAN" AND PRO-CHOICE POLITICS
An article for Romper.com
In this article Hillary tackles some of the bioethical questions raised by the controversial Ohio so-called "Down syndrome abortion ban" bill--including how disability rights and women's rights intersect. Check out all of Hillary's articles for Romper.com.
January 4, 2018
When I saw the email asking me to write about the recent Ohio law that makes performing an abortion after the prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome a felony, signed last week by Governor Kasich, I winced. While I have a lot to say about disability and abortion, I have engaged in enough discussions about this topic to know that what I have to say risks making me enemies of just about everyone.
Let me be clear from the outset: In my opinion, the Ohio law in question — which takes effect in March and will punish doctors with hefty fines, loss of their medical license, and jail time for performing an abortion following a diagnosis of Down syndrome — is a stupendously misguided bill. It has little to do with substantively protecting the lives of people with Down syndrome. Instead it has everything to do with using people with Down syndrome as a tool to achieve a political goal. At the same time, I also believe that this bill gestures toward a serious ethical question that our society cannot afford to ignore: Namely, how we will allow our ever-expanding genetic science to define us as humans with respect to people with disabilities.