By Brittany Jones, an attorney and policy manager with Family Policy Alliance
Eliminating the undesirable in society. That sounds like a sentence that might have been used in Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, it is a phrase that is associated with abortion laws in the United States and in Europe. In Iceland, for example, nearly 100% of preborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Even in most states in the U.S., it is still legal to abort a baby simply because of concerns that the baby might have Down syndrome or some other abnormality. Between 60-70% of preborn babies with a potential Down syndrome diagnosis are aborted in the United States. Allowing these types of abortions makes no sense in light of our other laws that ban discrimination against persons who have disabilities.
That is why four states, North Dakota, Indiana, Louisiana, and Ohio have already passed laws that ban abortions based on fetal abnormalities or Down syndrome. Louisiana law requires that information about the different types of support available also be provided to women whose babies receive an in utero diagnosis of Down syndrome. These bills recognize that state law should always protect those who are among the most vulnerable and that Down syndrome is a life worth living.
Every day, families are recognizing that we cannot allow our nation to go the way of Iceland. At least nine states have introduced legislation this year, often known as Prenatal Nondiscrimination Acts, that would ban an abortion because of a diagnosis or belief the child would be born with Down syndrome or some other fetal abnormality. These bills have become a rallying cry for families, especially Christian families, who desire to protect life at every stage.
For example, this week our ally, Pennsylvania Family Institute, had an amazing turnout for the rally they held at their state capitol on this issue. Michael Geer, President of Pennsylvania Family Council and Family Policy Alliance board member, said: “Whether a child is diagnosed with Down syndrome before or after birth, disability rights start at diagnosis. All human life should be valued and respected – especially in the womb. And the targeting of babies solely for the possible diagnosis of Down syndrome should not be permitted here in Pennsylvania.”
At Family Policy Alliance we believe that every life should be protected no matter the stage or level of development. Stand with us and our allies by signing our pledge to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves in your state—and please share with others who believe every preborn child is a life worth living!