Ohio Legislation Would Make It the 3rd State to Ban Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 20, 2017   |   11:39AM   |   Columbus, OH

An Ohio state legislative committee held a hearing on a pro-life bill today to ban abortions specifically done on unborn babies who are diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Today the Ohio House Health Committee is heard arguments for House Bill 214, the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act.

Paula Westwood, Executive Director, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, is urging support for the legislation. She tells LifeNews that, while every unborn child deserves protection from abortion death, House Bill 214 is helpful in protecting those targeted for destruction due to cultural bigotry against babies identified before birth as “abnormal” or “imperfect” due to a Down Syndrome prediction.

Westwood calls it Down Syndrome “prediction” because prenatal testing is unreliable. She points out that a recent study out of the University of Cambridge documents Early stage embryos with abnormalities may still develop into healthy babies, with this synopsis:

Abnormal cells in the early embryo are not necessarily a sign that a baby will be born with a birth defect such as Down’s syndrome, suggests new research carried out in mice at the University of Cambridge. In a study published … in the journal Nature Communications, scientists show that abnormal cells are eliminated and replaced by healthy cells, repairing – and in some cases completely fixing – the embryo.

The lead researcher in this study initiated the research when pregnant with her second child at age 44. An early chorionic villus sampling (CVS) test indicated abnormal cells, yet her son was born with no anomalies.

“Pregnant women are routinely advised to undergo prenatal testing,” said Westwood. “Sadly, many women often end the lives of their unborn babies due to a Down Syndrome, other chromosomal variation, or disability prediction, which may or may not be true. Doctors would do well to encourage all women to carry their children to term, and for them and all of us to welcome the diversity any child of any ability brings.”

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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.

Ahead of previous legislation, Dr. Ashley K. Fernandes board trustee of Ohio Right to Life, testified in favor of the legislation. He is a pediatrician and a bioethicist and is the Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“It is my duty, and that of any pediatrician, to create a climate of love and support for these families and their children,” said Dr. Fernandes. “To show solidarity with them, to be, for what it’s worth in our brief visits with them, a face of love and hope. You as legislators, whom we have entrusted to codify the shared moral values of our society and state, also have that obligation. Children with Down syndrome are persons worthy of dignity and worthy to be cherished.”

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.

House Bill 214 has received sponsor testimony, and today proponent, in the House Health Committee. Companion Senate Bill 164 has received sponsor, proponent and opponent testimony in the Senate Health, Human Services, and Medicaid Committee. Neither version has been released to the full chamber for vote.