Utah House Passes Bill to Ban Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   Steven Ertelt   Feb 6, 2018   |   12:43PM    Salt Lake City, UT

Legislators across the country are up in arms following reports that nations like Iceland and Denmark are killing babies with Down Syndrome in abortions to specifically eliminate such people. America has a high rate of abortions on such babies as well and so several states have endeavored to ban abortions when done specifically to target a baby with Down syndrome.

Utah is aiming to become the 4th state to ban such abortions and its state House just approved a bill to do that.

AP has more:

Bill sponsor Rep. Karianne Lisonbee contends abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome are “a eugenic-like eradication” of an entire group of people. The Republican from Clearfield said her bill is about protecting people with Down syndrome from discrimination.

The bill would make it a misdemeanor for a doctor to perform an abortion knowing that the pregnant woman is seeking it because of a diagnosis or suspicion that the fetus has Down syndrome.

Doctors could face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine under the proposal, but women seeking such abortions would not be charged.

Abortion activists oppose the bill and threaten to take the state to court over it if it becomes law because they want to be able to kill babies in abortions for any reason.

“If we pass this bill, we are buying ourselves a lawsuit,” said Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, urging his colleagues on the Utah Judiciary Committee not to approve the legislation.

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People with Down Syndrome spoke up in favor of the bill.

A 48-year-old woman with Down syndrome sang her testimony to the lawmakers: “It’s true I don’t walk or talk just like you / It could be I’m slow but one thing I know / I want to be good at things just like you / I have feelings, too.”

Indiana, Ohio and North Dakota have led the way in banning abortions on babies with Down Syndrome and other states like Illinois are considering measures like this Utah legislation.

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.

Naturally, Planned Parenthood opposes the legislation.