Senate Committee Approves Bill to Reduce Abortions of Down Syndrome Babies

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 27, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Committee Approves Bill to Reduce Abortions of Down Syndrome Babies Email this article
Printer friendly page

RSS Newsfeed

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 27
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — A Senate committee on Wednesday approved legislation designed to help reduce the number of abortions of babies with Down syndrome and other conditions. Pro-life advocates have been worried about the high percentage of abortions as doctors leave parents with few options when confronted with a disabled unborn child.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved the Pre-natally and Post-natally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act on a unanimous vote.

This is a bill that would require giving families who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other condition, pre-natally or up until a year after birth, pertinent helpful information.

The information would include facts about the condition and connections to support services and networks that could offer assistance in raising a disabled child.

Sen Sam Brownback, a pro-life Kansas Republican and co-sponsor of the bill, told he’s pleased the committee approved it.

He said he hopes it will reduce the percentage of abortions in such cases — with some studies showing as many as 90 percent of parents with an unborn baby diagnosed as having Down syndrome having an abortion.

“It is difficult, sometimes overwhelming, for expecting parents to receive news that their unborn child may be born with a disability,” Brownback said.

“This legislation will help parents receiving such news by supplying them with current and reliable information about the many options available for caring for children with disabilities," he added.

In a rare show of bipartisan support, Brownback is working with pro-abortion Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts on the bill.

The bill now moves to full Senate consideration and Brownback said he hopes the body will move on it quickly.

“I am hopeful this bill soon moves to consideration by the full Senate. The quicker my colleagues and I move to pass this bill, the more quickly we can help families across the nation," he said.

Brownback indicated the percentage of parents opting for abortions in cases of unborn children with other conditions such as spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, and dwarfism are high as well.

The bill also calls for the creation of a national registry of families willing to adopt children with pre- or post-natally diagnosed conditions.

ACTION: Contact your senator at 202-224-3121 and urge support for the bill, or go to for more specific contact information.