Pennsylvania Legislators Propose Resolution Condemning Abortion of Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Maria Gallagher   |   Oct 24, 2017   |   12:36PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

A group of Pennsylvania lawmakers are trying to ensure that the Commonwealth gives people with Down syndrome the respect they deserve.

A bi-partisan contingent in the Pennsylvania state Senate is backing a resolution which would condemn the abortion of unborn babies who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Leading the effort is state Senator Scott Martin, a Republican representing Lancaster County.

Martin notes that some estimates indicate as many as 90 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero are aborted.

“There are a wide range of viewpoints on the topic of abortion, but we should all be able to agree that no individual’s life should be terminated based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome,” Martin noted. “The idea that a child with Down syndrome is better off unborn is debunked every day by the hundreds of thousands of individuals currently living with this condition.”

During a news conference at the state Capitol last month, Martin spoke of a friend in his ‘30s who has not only survived, but thrived, with Down syndrome.

“We should be celebrating the lives of men and women with Down syndrome, not looking for ways to end them,” Martin said. “Seeking to eliminate an entire class of people is an unethical and immoral act that has no place in a civilized society, especially when it does nothing to remedy the genetic disorder.”

Martin’s resolution, Senate Resolution 174, has 16 co-sponsors and has been referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

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Advocates for the legislation would like to see it reported out of committee and passed by the state Senate before the end of the year.

The resolution states, in part, that “the notion that an individual with Down syndrome is incapable of leading a full life is grossly flawed.”

Consider young Chloe Kondrich, an effervescent high school freshman who has become something of a good will ambassador for people with Down syndrome. Chloe has not only a book to her credit, but has also met with leading figures from the worlds of politics, sports, and the arts.

Rather than encouraging the abortion of Down syndrome children, public officials and health care professionals should be devoting energy to enhancing the lives of people with Down syndrome and their families.

As the resolution wisely states, “Resources should be devoted to improving the lives of those with Down syndrome, developing and delivering new and effective educational, behavioral, and drug treatments for Down syndrome and conducting related research.”

Action Item: If you live in Pennsylvania, please call your state Senator and urge him or her to support Senate Resolution 174, which denounces the abortion of unborn babies who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome. Note: Maria Gallagher is the Legislative Director and Political Action Committee Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and she has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.