Supreme Court May Decide Whether States Can Ban Abortions on Babies with Down Syndrome

National   |   Christina Vazquez   |   Oct 15, 2018   |   10:37AM   |   Washington, DC

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill made a call to action Monday for the U.S. Supreme Court to take on a critical pro-life case.

Hill said he wants the Supreme Court to rule on a lawsuit about a 2016 pro-life law that bans abortions performed because of the unborn child’s race, gender or disability, such as Down syndrome. It also requires medical facilities to bury or cremate fetal remains.

According to Indiana Public Media, Hill said the fetal characteristic abortion ban guards against discrimination. He also argued the state has the right to require fetal remains to be treated with dignity.

Indiana was the second state to establish a safeguard to protect unborn children with Down syndrome. However, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision to strike down part of the pro-life law in July, after a federal judge struck it down last year.

Despite this, Hill has continued to fight for the law.

If the case is accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court, there may be a possibility of more protections for unborn children with disabilities. With Justice Brett Kavanaugh recently confirmed, the now conservative majority court may decide cases in a pro-life manner. Kavanaugh’s predecessor, Justice Anthony Kennedy, rarely ruled in favor of life.

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As October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, this case is critical for so many people. About 250,000 Americans have the chromosomal abnormality, and they lead incredible and fulfilling lives, which makes this discrimination against them all the more saddening.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump shared a powerful message on the value of human life, regardless of disability.

“Life is precious, and it is our moral duty to protect and defend it,” Trump said. “During this month, we vow to continue creating opportunities for and supporting the extraordinary men, women, and children with Down syndrome. Every day, they inspire us to live with great love, joy, and appreciation for our world and those who make it a truly unique and special place to live.”

Unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities are discriminated against at alarming rates. Parents whose unborn babies have disabilities frequently report feeling pressure to abort them by doctors and genetic counselors.

The rate of unborn babies who are aborted after a Down syndrome diagnosis is about 67 percent in the U.S., according to CBS News. Some put the rate as high as 90 percent in the United States, but it is difficult to determine the exact number because the government does not keep detailed statistics about abortion.