Bill Would Make Missouri Just Second to Ban Abortions Based on Down Syndrome

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 11, 2015   |   6:41PM   |   Jefferson City, MO

The percentage of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth and who eventually become victims of abortions is outlandishly high. As LifeNews previously reported, 90% of women who receive the prenatal diagnosis that their child will have Down syndrome end their life through abortion.

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.

Now, the state of Missouri is considering a similar ban on abortions of babies with Down syndrome — though it will have to compete with Ohio, which is also working o passing a similar measure.

The St. Louis newspaper has additional details about the new legislation to protect unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome:

A state lawmaker responsible for the 72 hour waiting period before an abortion has proposed a new restriction: preventing an abortion because of a Down syndrome diagnosis.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, would ban doctors from performing an abortion if a woman is seeking it solely because a test indicated the baby either has or could have the genetic disorder that causes developmental and intellectual delays.

Following every abortion, doctors would have to certify they had no knowledge the abortion was sought solely because of this diagnosis. If a doctor violates the measure, he or she could serve up to a year in prison and pay a fine up to $1,000.

Sater, who could not immediately be reached for comment Friday filed the bill ahead of the 2016 Legislative session that begins Jan. 6. The first day to file bills was Dec. 1, and at least three other anti-abortion measures have been filed since then.

The bill is Senate bill 802.

In Ohio, Ohio Right to Life’s Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (H.B. 135) was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives. The legislation, sponsored by Representatives Sarah LaTourrette and David Hall, comes after multiple studies have demonstrated that upwards of 90 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Sixteen legislators signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.



“More and more, it seems that society is rejecting discrimination in favor of diversity, empathy, and understanding for the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our communities,” said Stephanie Ranade Krider. “It makes sense that we would apply that practice across the whole spectrum of life, to protect some of the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, starting in the womb.”

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township), said the following about the pro-life bill: “As with any bill that they perceive as a threat to their industry, pro-abortion groups have been vocal in their opposition to HB 135. However, they are presenting the same arguments they use for every pro-life bill. While I make no effort to conceal my pro-life convictions, I firmly believe this bill is about discrimination, not abortion. Choosing to end an individual’s life simply because they are different, or might have Down syndrome, is discrimination. There is simply no other way to look at it.”

In 2011, the American Journal of Medical Genetics ran a three-part series on the impact children with Down syndrome have on families.

Nearly 99 percent of people with Down syndrome indicated that they were happy with their lives, 97 percent liked who they were, and 96 percent liked how they looked. Additionally, more than 96 percent of brothers/sisters indicated that they had affection toward their sibling with Down syndrome. Of over 2,000 parents who responded to the survey, 99 percent reported that they loved their son or daughter and 97 percent were proud of them.

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.