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

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 29, 2016   |   2:32PM   |   Indianapolis, IN

A pro-life lawmaker in Indiana is moving forward with a bill to protect unborn babies from being discriminated against because of their gender or a disability.

“What we hear from doctors is — it would really be better off if you were not born,” Indiana state Sen. Liz Brown said of the discriminatory abortion practice. “If you are born, we will love you, and we think you have equal rights and should be a member of society. In fact, we have the Americans with Disabilities Act and have to make accommodations. But we don’t want to make the accommodation before you’re born, and in fact, it would really be easier if you were not born.”

Brown co-authored the bill with state Sen. Travis Holdman that would ban abortions on unborn babies based on the baby’s gender or diagnosis of a disability in Indiana, the Indy Star reports. The Senate Bill 313 passed out of an Indiana Senate committee in a 7-4 vote Wednesday. The bill will advance to the full state Senate for a vote.

Brown said many families say they face pressure to abort from doctors or other health care professionals when their babies are diagnosed with an illness or disability in the womb. LifeNews has documented numerous cases of families saying the same thing. Brown said her bill would ensure that women receive information about all of their options, not just abortion, when faced with the news that their unborn baby has an abnormality.

The report continues:

Among other aspects of the proposal, the bill requires a woman whose fetus was diagnosed with a “lethal fetal anomaly,” meaning the baby would not live longer than three months after birth, to receive information about perinatal hospice. However, a woman still could seek an abortion because her fetus has a lethal condition under a last-minute clarification made during Wednesday’s committee hearing.

The bill also works to restrict the use of fetal tissue after this summer’s controversy over undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees discussing fetal organ donations.

Supporters of the bill say it focuses on compassion and shifts focus to medical advancement.

Mary O’Callaghan with the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture said “discrimination” against people diagnosed with disabilities will persist without the bill.

“Abortion is a short-sighted health care solution,” O’Callaghan said.

Yet, opponents of the measure say the proposed restrictions would essentially require doctors to read their patients’ minds as to the reason they want an abortion. Abortions are legal in Indiana before 20 weeks without a woman having to offer a reason.

Some components of the bill come in response to a series of undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress showing top Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price of aborted babies’ body parts. In several videos, the abortion business’s employees also appeared to be admitting to changing the abortion procedure to better harvest the unborn babies’ body parts.

The Indiana bill would make it a felony to intentionally acquire, receive, sell or transfer fetal tissue in the state, according to the report. It also would make it illegal for an abortion doctor to change the timing or method of an abortion to collect fetal tissue, the report states.

Pro-abortion state Sen. Vaneta Becker told reporters that she believes the bill is unconstitutional because it restricts abortion before viability.

ACTION: Contact the Indiana legislature to support the bill.