Planned Parenthood Fights to Overturn Indiana Law Banning Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 30, 2017   |   11:40AM   |   Indianapolis, IN

Planned Parenthood believes women should be able to abort their unborn babies for any reason, including personal prejudices.

Right now, the abortion giant is challenging an Indiana state law that prohibits abortions based solely on an unborn baby’s sex, race or disability such as Down syndrome.

In September, a federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama blocked the law. The state is appealing to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Pro-life and disability rights advocates are fighting back, urging the court to uphold the anti-discrimination law. This week, attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom and the Bioethics Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of three Down syndrome organizations and a grassroots women’s advocacy group.

“Nothing is medically necessary or constitutionally protected about an abortion that is committed simply because a child has Down syndrome or isn’t the desired race or sex,” said ADF senior counsel Denise Burke. “The fact that Planned Parenthood is opposing a law like Indiana’s tells you what America’s number one abortion supplier really cares about.”

Those defending the law in the brief include the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune, Saving Downs and Down Pride, which advocate for people with Down syndrome and other genetic intellectual disabilities. Women Speak for Themselves, a national grassroots organization empowering women to speak out on important issues including abortion, also is supporting the law through the brief.

In the brief, the groups argued that the Indiana law “survives constitutional scrutiny because the Supreme Court has never recognized a right to abort an unborn child because of his or her sex, genetic abnormality, or disability and because it furthers the State of Indiana’s interest in protecting unborn human life by preventing sex and disability discrimination against unborn children. It also promotes the State’s interest in drawing a clear boundary against postnatal eugenic infanticide.”

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Bioethics Defense Fund Senior Counsel Dorinda Bordlee said the law protects individuals against modern eugenics.

“… it addresses prenatal testing to target and eliminate a class of human beings based on sex or disability discrimination,” Bordlee said. “Eugenic abortion devalues not only the unborn with disabilities, but also devalues individuals born and living with disabilities.”

Signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence in 2016, the law would prohibit abortion doctors from knowingly aborting an unborn baby solely because of a genetic abnormality 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 that abortionists who have hospital admitting privileges renew them annually.

Indiana became the second state to prohibit abortions based on an unborn baby’s disability, following North Dakota in 2013. A handful of states also prohibit sex-selection abortions.

This deadly discrimination against babies with disabilities is a problem in countries across the world. Earlier this year, a CBS News report shocked the nation by reporting that nearly 100 percent of unborn babies with Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland.

In 2014, the Danish government reported 98 percent of unborn babies who tested positive for Down syndrome were aborted. CBS reports the rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the United Kingdom and 67 percent in the United States between 1995 and 2011. Some put the rate as high as 90 percent in the United States, but it is difficult to determine the exact number because the U.S. government does not keep detailed statistics about abortion.