Docs Defend Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome: “Do What’s Best for the Unborn Child”

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 13, 2016   |   10:28AM   |   Indianapolis, IN

Eight pediatric doctors in Indiana blasted a new law that protects unborn babies from discriminatory abortions in a new opinion piece for the Indy Star.

The Indiana law, which passed in March, bans abortion doctors from knowingly aborting an unborn baby solely because of a genetic disability such as Down syndrome, the unborn baby’s race or sex. The bill also has several other abortion-related measures, including a requirement that aborted or miscarried babies’ bodies be cremated or buried and another requirement that abortionists who have hospital admitting privileges renew them annually.

The column, signed by doctors Tracey Wilkinson, Rebekah L. Williams, Linda A. DiMeglio, J. Dennis Fortenberry, Tamara S. Hannon, Mary A. Ott, Marcia L. Shew and Emily K. Sims, called the new law “bad medicine” and argued that families should be the ones to decide whether their disabled babies should be allowed to live.

They wrote:

While many women and families feel strongly that they want to continue pregnancies affected by fetal anomalies, others may make the decision to terminate such pregnancies based on what is best for themselves, their families and their unborn child.

… Doctors have the responsibility to provide   information women need to make informed decisions, including all of the options   available to her family —  then support her regardless of whether she decides to carry to term or end her pregnancy.

This law now robs families and doctors of that conversation and those options. Under the new legislation, some families that decide to terminate a pregnancy won’t be able to do so if they consult with their physician about the reasons they’ve decided to take this step. Doctors may even feel   they can’t even discuss abortion as an option.



And let us be clear:  As pediatricians, we want nothing more than to see real dignity for children with disabilities. But this legislation does nothing to improve services or care for people with disabilities.

One of the doctors hinted that she may have had an abortion after “a routine prenatal ultrasound” revealed “a possible diagnosis of a fetal abnormality.” They said that doctor made “the best decision” for her family.

The column goes on and on about how families facing the news that their unborn child has a disability deserve accurate information and support, but the law does not restrict information from being provided. It simply prohibits unborn babies from discriminatory abortions based on a genetic disorder, their sex or race.

“If Indiana lawmakers truly cared about children with disabilities, they’d fund programs to support career pathways for people with disabilities, expand educational opportunities  and increase funding for home- and community-based care instead,” they wrote.

However, they neglected to mention that children with disabilities never will have the opportunity to do these things if they are killed first in an abortion. These other services, no matter how important they are, are meaningless if the child is first denied a right to life.

The editorial is just the latest move in a series of attacks abortion activists are waging against the protective law.

Most of the pediatricians who signed the column appear to work for the Indiana University health system. The university recently filed a lawsuit against the state over another part of the law, which requires aborted babies’ body parts to be cremated or buried.

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU also filed a lawsuit against the state in April. The abortion business failed to convince the general public to oppose the regulations, so now it hopes to convince a court. In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky claims the restrictions are unconstitutional because they infringe on a woman’s “right” to a first-trimester abortion, according to the Indy Star.

While the bill was being debated in the legislature, state Sen. Liz Brown said many families 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.

“What we hear from doctors is — it would really be better off if you were not born,” Brown said. “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.”

Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, told LifeNews previously that the lawsuit shows how extreme abortion activists really are.

“The Dignity for the Unborn law protects the most vulnerable among – the unborn targeted for abortion because of their gender, race or a potential disability,” Fichter said. “It calls for respectful disposal of aborted human remains. Hoosiers believe all lives have value and Planned Parenthood’s opposition to this law just shows how extreme on abortion they truly are.”