Ohio Panel Passes Bill to Ban Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 26, 2017   |   9:37AM   |   Columbus, OH

An Ohio House committee approved a bill Wednesday to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from abortion.

The AP reports the state House Health Committee passed Ohio House Bill 214 on Wednesday as pro-life advocates urged lawmakers to protect unborn babies with disabilities from discriminatory abortions. It now moves to the full House for a vote.

Meanwhile, the radical pro-abortion group NARAL gave lawmakers a petition with 2,000 signatures in opposition to the bill, according to the report.

The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (Ohio House Bill 214) would help prevent discrimination by prohibiting abortions on unborn babies who have or may have Down syndrome. Abortionists who violate the measure could be charged with a fourth-degree felony or lose their medical license.

State Rep. Sarah LaTourette, a pro-life Republican who sponsored the bill, said the abortion statistics for unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are staggering, according to the Toledo Blade.

“When we hear the statistic that 90 percent of women chose abortion because of this potential diagnosis, there’s an obvious problem there,” LaTourette said.

“I continue to say that this bill is about so much more than abortion,” she continued. “I truly believe that it’s about discriminating against some of our most vulnerable, discriminating against an unborn child simply because they might have a Down Syndrome diagnosis. That’s something that I find absolutely unacceptable.”

Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, also emphasized to WFLA News that the bill really is an anti-discrimination bill.

“We believe all life is sacred, whether you’re white, black, gay or straight, Christian,  Muslim, Jew,” Gonidakis said. “Everyone deserves the right to live and grow up to have their God-given potential.”

However, abortion activists are fighting heavily against the legislation.

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Jaime Miracle, deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said the government should never get involved in a woman’s abortion decision, no matter what her reason is.

“It’s not our place to judge a woman and her decision on whether or not to continue a pregnancy for whatever reason it is,” the pro-abortion leader said. “It is that woman’s decision to make alone, and nobody in this building or anywhere else should be making that decision for someone else.”

One of the key advocates of the bill is Kelly Kuhns, a Plain City, Ohio mother and nurse whose son has Down syndrome. Kuhns told the Columbus Dispatch that doctors suggested she abort her son, but she immediately refused.

Despite her resolve, she said the news of her son’s diagnosis troubled her, and the medical counseling did not help.

“They tell you of these horrific things that can happen, the different anomalies, cardiac issues,” she told the AP. “So you plan for the worst, and I really feel like you’re given a death sentence.”

But her son Oliver, 2, is doing well. Kuhns said he has more medical appointments than her other children, but he leads a “pretty normal life” otherwise.

Kuhns is advocating for the Ohio legislation to help children like her son.

Studies indicate unborn babies with Down syndrome are targeted for abortions at very high rates. A CBS News report earlier this year shocked the nation by reporting that Iceland has an almost 100-percent abortion rate for unborn babies with the genetic disorder.