Illinois Bill Would Make It 4th State to Ban Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   Micaiah Bilger   Jan 9, 2018   |   1:53PM    Springfied, IL

Two Illinois lawmakers hope to make their state the next one to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortions.

The Journal Star reports Republican state Reps. Allen Skillicorn, of Crystal Lake, and Thomas Morrison, of Palatine, introduced state House Bill 4210 last week to prohibit abortions on unborn babies solely because of a Down syndrome diagnosis.

Doctors who violate the law could face a class 4 felony or loss of medical license. Women who seek abortions would not be penalized.

“All life is precious and unique, including children with Down syndrome,” Skillicorn said. “They are not second-class citizens.”

The bill would make Illinois the fourth to prohibit discriminatory abortions on unborn babies with the genetic disorder, following Ohio, Indiana and North Dakota. Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed his state’s new law in late December.

The bill will face an uphill battle in the pro-abortion Democrat-controlled legislature, but the pro-life lawmakers said they will not back down.

“I expect there to be the special interests who want to allow the practice indiscriminately,” Skillicorn said. “But this is an ethical and moral dilemma people need to talk about. This is about unique people with insights that deserve respect. Down syndrome should not be a death sentence.”

Illinois Family Institute and Illinois Right to Life Action lobbyist Ralph Rivera told the local news that the organizations that he represents likely will support the bill.

“The court has a standard to allow the practice (of abortion) when it is deemed ‘medically necessary,‘” Rivera said. “I hope people look at this knowing people and young children with Down syndrome and think how they have made strides in our society. Then maybe they ask themselves ‘does this meet that standard of medically necessary?’”

Abortion activists have been fighting against the legislation in other states. In October, the radical pro-abortion group NARAL gave Ohio lawmakers a petition with 2,000 signatures in opposition to the bill.

Jaime Miracle, deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said the government never should get involved in a woman’s abortion decision, no matter what her reason is.

“It’s not our place to judge a woman and her decision on whether or not to continue a pregnancy for whatever reason it is,” the pro-abortion leader said.

Unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities are discriminated against at astronomical rates. Parents whose unborn babies have Down syndrome or other disabilities frequently report feeling pressure to abort them by doctors and genetic counselors.

Earlier this year, a CBS News report shocked the nation with its exposure of the discriminatory abortion trend. According to the report, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland. The rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the United Kingdom and 67 percent in the United States between 1995 and 2011, according to CBS.

Some put the rate as high as 90 percent in the United States, but it is difficult to determine the exact number because the U.S. government does not keep detailed statistics about abortion.