Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Sixth Circuit Grants En Banc Rehearing on Ohio Abortion Law

As I discussed more fully in this post, in October a divided panel of the Sixth Circuit barred the state of Ohio from enforcing its law that prohibits medical providers from performing an abortion if they have “knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion, in whole or in part, because” her baby has been diagnosed as having Down syndrome.

I’m pleased to report that the Sixth Circuit has granted the state of Ohio’s petition for rehearing en banc. In its petition, the state argued that the panel majority erred when it concluded that Supreme Court precedent creates a “categorical” right to a pre-viability abortion. It also emphasized the state’s “critically important” interests in protecting the dignity of people with Down syndrome and in preventing the medical profession from promoting eugenic “solutions.”

Oral argument before the en banc court will take place on March 11.


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