Indiana Bill Would Ban Sex-Selection Abortions, Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Jan 16, 2015   |   10:44AM   |   Indianapolis, IN

In Indiana, pro-life state Senator Travis Holdman (R-Markle) has proposed a bill that would prohibit abortions if the abortionist knows it’s being pursued because of the unborn baby’s gender or due to a disability.

The bill has been assigned to the Senate’s Health and Provider Services committee; and Chairwoman Pat Miller (R-Indianapolis) said she wanted to discuss the bill with Sen. Holdman before commenting on whether the bill will receive a hearing.

According to the Indy Star, the president of Indiana Right to Life, Mike Fichter said, “We support the bill, because we don’t believe an unborn child should be discriminated against based on disability or sex.” He added, “As a culture, we would never accept the killing of a 2-year-old with Down syndrome or disability.”

downsyndrome3Tragically, 90% of women who are given the prenatal diagnosis that their baby will have Down syndrome end the life of their unborn child through abortion. Although it is true that children affected by Down syndrome and other disorders have unique challenges, their lives shouldn’t be seen as less valuable than the rest of us.

However, a few pro-abortion groups are unhappy about the proposed legislation. Carolyn Meagher, the co-president of the Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice, said, “It’s always scary when a legislative body wants to practice medicine. Why is this a matter of public health that they’re determining this? When our state creates laws that restrict the ability (for people) to look at their options and decide what is best for them, we are hurting people.”

Click here to sign up for daily pro-life news alerts from

Additionally, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Indiana, Betty Cockrum, said, “Indiana is one of the most highly regulated, least accessible states in the country when it comes to abortion and reproductive health care.” She believes pro-lifers “seek to erect barriers rather than seeking to reduce unintended pregnancy in the first place.” Thankfully, Cockrum is right about one thing; Indiana has passed some measures that protect unborn life and mothers from abortion. Women seeking abortions in Indiana are told that human life begins at fertilization and that an unborn baby can feel pain. They are also shown a picture of their baby and given the option to hear their child’s heartbeat.

Indiana Right to Life hopes that if this new legislation passes it would stop pro-abortion doctors from encouraging abortion for babies with disabilities. Fichter said, “The statehouse proposal would relieve the fear many parents feel after a diagnosis of disability. It would provide positive support when they are simply scared and feel pressured to make abortion decisions.”