Indiana Senate Committee Passes Bill to Ban Abortions Based on Down Syndrome

State   Steven Ertelt   Feb 18, 2015   |   4:06PM    Indianapolis, IN

The Indiana Senate Health Committee today passed a pro-life bill to make it the next state to ban abortions on babies simply because they are diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Senate Bill (SB) 334, abortion prohibition based on gender or disability, passed the Indiana Senate Health and Provider Services Committee. This bill will bar a person from doing an abortion if he or she knows the pregnant woman wants an abortion because of the baby’s gender or a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of Down syndrome or another disability.

“Senate Bill 334 sends a clear message that Indiana does not tolerate discrimination,” shared Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Studies show babies have been targeted for abortion simply because of a disability, potential disability or gender. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls in the world were aborted because of their gender. Additional studies show up to 90 percent of babies with Down syndrome are targeted for abortion because of their extra chromosome.”

A variety of witnesses lined up to speak on SB 334. They were Dr. David Prentice, Charlotte Lozier  Institute; Mary O’Callahan, mother and Public Policy Fellow, Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture; Dr. Aaron Deweese, neonatologist; Kathleen Black, disability activist; Dr. Lori Buzzetti, OBGYN, Trained Residents at St. Vincent Hospital and starting “So Big,” a nonprofit to help pregnant women; Asleigh Moon, mother who was given negative prenatal diagnosis and child was born without any genetic anomalies; Kathie Shaw, young woman with Down syndrome; and Sue Swayze, Indiana Right to Life.

Senate Bill 334 passed 7-4. The bill must now pass the Senate in order to advance.

SB 334 is authored by Sens. Travis Holdman (District 19), Liz Brown (District 15) and Amanda Banks (District 17) and co-authored by Sen. Dennis Kruse (District 14).

The percentage of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth and who eventually become victims of abortions is outlandishly high. Studies show somewhere in the neighborhood of 70-90 percent of unborn babies with Down syndrome are victimized by abortions.

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North Dakota eventually became the first state in the United States to ban abortions on babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome. With the governor’s signature on the ban in 2013, Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple took that state in a decidedly pro-life direction.

Eventually a judge dismissed a legal challenge abortion activists brought against the legislation.

The state of Ohio is also considering a similar ban.

At the time North Dakota adopted its bill, Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest praised it.

“A civil society does not discriminate against people – born and unborn – for their sex or for disability.  We should be celebrating diversity, not destroying it,” she said. “Women in particular have been targeted for death in the womb, and we’ve also seen dramatic abortion rates for children with disabilities which put them at risk for extinction. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Rep. Bette Grande and the legislators in North Dakota have shown courageous humanity in passing this legislation.”

Yoest said that, while federal and state laws protect women and the disabled from discrimination, the unborn are not similarly protected.