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Constitutional Rights & the Public’s Health

Preterm-Cleveland, et al. v. McCloud (Ohio Department of Health)

Overview

Preterm-Cleveland, et al. v. McCloud (Ohio Department of Health) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, April 13, 2021): The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to block implementation of an Ohio statute that makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion if the doctor is aware that the pregnant person is seeking the abortion because the fetus has Down syndrome. The court found that the State had a legitimate reason for the law; namely, the statute: 1) protects the Down syndrome community from the stigma of selective abortion of fetuses; 2) protects pregnant people from coercion by doctors who advocate for abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome; and 3) supports the integrity and ethics of the medical community. The court also found that the physicians who brought the case were not likely to be able to prove that the statute creates an undue burden as there is no prohibition on a pregnant person getting an abortion because the fetus has Down syndrome, and any increased cost or delay created by the statute did not rise to the level of undue burden. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – June 15, 2021.

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