Congressional Bill May Discriminate Against Disabled Unborn Babies

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 2, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressional Bill May Discriminate Against Disabled Unborn Babies Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 2
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — A leading pro-life group is worried that a bill intended to protect the disabled may leave out disabled unborn children who could become victims of abortion simply because of their disabilities.

On Wednesday, a Senate committee approved the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (S. 358). The measure would prevent health insurance companies and employers from discriminating against people who test "positive" for a genetic disease.

That’s a great start the Family Research Council says, but it worries that, while it covers individuals and their families, it excludes unborn children.

The definition of "family member" includes the individual and "a dependent child of the individual, including a child who is born to or placed for adoption with the individual."

"FRC is extremely concerned that this definition would exempt unborn children and children in the process of adoption from the bill’s protections," the group said in a statement received.

"Research suggests that as many as 92% of unborn children who test positive for Down Syndrome are aborted, in many cases because the unborn child is denied, or subject to the denial of, health insurance," FRC added.

"Health insurance companies and employers should not be allowed to use genetic information about unborn children to discriminate against their families or to pressure parents to abort them," the pro-life organization concluded.

The group says it will continue to work with leading pro-life senators, including Republican Sens. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and Richard Burr of North Carolina, to ensure that the loophole is closed.