More than six years ago, Emily Chesnut chose life for her daughter who has Down syndrome.
But the Cincinnati, Ohio mother has no problem with allowing other mothers to destroy their unborn babies’ lives because of a disability.
NPR in Atlanta, Georgia interviewed Chestnut as Ohio lawmakers move forward with the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act, a bill to prohibit abortions on unborn babies who have or may have Down syndrome. The bill is expected to land on Gov. John Kasich’s desk before the end of the year.
Many families of children with Down syndrome support the legislation. Chesnut and her family are an exception.
She told NPR that her 6-year-old daughter Nora has Down syndrome. Before she was born, Chesnut said Nora displayed signs of the genetic disorder, including a heart defect, but they chose life for her.
Here’s more from the report:
Chesnut opted not to get any further testing to confirm or rule out the disorder, because she says she was more concerned about her daughter’s heart condition.
“I had seen people with Down syndrome before … and I knew that they lived good lives,” she says.
Chesnut, who’s 40 and works in IT for a local hospital, believes women should be given a choice about whether to continue such a pregnancy. She and other abortion-rights advocates argue Down syndrome is being used to push an anti-abortion agenda in a handful of states including Ohio, which has passed several new abortion restrictions in recent years.
“Down syndrome is an easy face…Everybody knows somebody or has seen somebody or has a friend of a friend [with Down syndrome],” Chesnut says. “So I really think Down syndrome is just kind of being the pawn to the bill – which is just restricting women’s choice.”
Children with Down syndrome are not pawns; they are the face of the deadly “choice” that Chesnut and other abortion activists are trying to push. That “choice” is to kill a child simply because he or she has Down syndrome. It’s deadly discrimination, eugenics in modern form.
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.
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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, according to CBS. 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.
If the legislation passes, Ohio would become the third state to pass a non-discrimination law for unborn babies with disabilities.
Many Ohio parents are urging support for the bill. One is Kelly Kuhns, a Plain City 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.”
Today, 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.
Larry and Jackie Keough, whose daughter has Down syndrome, also testified in favor of the bill before a legislative committee vote in November, according to the Times Reporter.
“We ask each of you to support SB 164 that would stop the genocidal practice of aborting unborn children with Down syndrome,” Jackie Keough said. “By doing so, this can be a critical step to eliminate abortion based on individual genetic make up.”