Down syndrome abortion ban clears committee

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A proposal to ban abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome has cleared an Ohio legislative panel over the objections of abortion-rights groups.

Advocates of the measure, which cleared the House Health Committee Wednesday, contend terminating pregnancies in such cases is a form of discrimination stemming for misinformation and society’s growing perfectionism.

Physicians convicted of performing an abortion under such circumstances could be charged with a fourth-degree felony, stripped of their medical license and held liable for legal damages under the proposal. The pregnant woman would face no criminal liability.

NARAL Pro Choice Ohio and Planned Parenthood delivered 2,000 signatures of opponents of the legislation to lawmakers after the vote. The groups argue the bill is part of a broader effort to restrict women’s access to legal abortions.

House approves concealed-carry changes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio House has approved a bill that would cut the penalties for concealed-carry permit holders who don’t tell police they have a weapon when they’re detained by authorities.

The proposal passed by the Republican-controlled chamber Tuesday would reduce the penalty for not alerting police about the guns from a misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine to a $25 fine.

The bill goes next to the Senate.

Gun rights groups are hoping lawmakers do away with the penalties entirely, while police groups oppose the change.

Jay McDonald, president of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, says officers should know whether a person they are approaching is armed.

Billions on hot seat in Ohio election

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two wealthy Californians are behind separate fall ballot issues in Ohio.

Henry Nicholas is the billionaire businessman behind Issue 1, Marsy’s Law. It’s a crime victims’ rights measure named for his murdered sister.

Michael Weinstein is president of the $1.2 billion AIDS Healthcare Foundation behind Issue 2, a drug-pricing measure.

While Nicholas is lauded for his philanthropy, Weinstein has been up against a barrage of negative ads.

Experts say personifying a campaign is effective with voters when a proposal is complicated.

Issue 1 would require that crime victims and their families are notified of all court proceedings, allowed to tell their stories and given input on plea deals.

The Drug Price Relief Act requires Ohio to pay no more for prescription drugs than the Veterans Administration, which gets deep discounts.

Court: Judge properly dismissed underage sex case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a juvenile court judge’s dismissal of a case involving sex between boys under 13.

At issue before the high court was a 2013 case out of central Ohio in which a 12-year-old boy touched and engaged in intercourse with a 9-year-old boy. Court records say there was no allegation of force.

Justice William O’Neill, writing for the majority in the 4-3 decision, said Wednesday a juvenile judge has considerable discretion when it comes to determining the best outcome for children, and that can include rejecting a formal court process.

Justice Sharon Kennedy, writing for the minority, said the juvenile court judge should not have dismissed the criminal complaint.

Man gets 46 years for double murder

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man has been sentenced to 46 years in prison after pleading guilty to fatally shooting his estranged girlfriend and a man living at the home where she’d taken refuge with friends after her life had been threatened.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 49-year-old John Henry, of Clarksburg in Ross County, was sentenced Tuesday immediately after pleading guilty to aggravated murder and kidnapping for the October 2016 slayings of 43-year-old Nikki Caudill and 53-year-old Timothy Carney in the basement of a Columbus home.

Prosecutors say Carney was among a group of people living in the home and that Henry held him at gunpoint until Caudill came home.

Henry declined to say anything before sentencing. His attorney wasn’t immediately available for comment Wednesday.

Associated Press