A new bill in the North Carolina legislature would protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortions.
A 2013 North Carolina law already prohibits sex-selection abortions. The new bill would amend the law to include a ban on abortions because of an unborn baby’s race or Down syndrome diagnosis.
“All human beings, from conception through death, have intrinsic dignity and worth,” the bill states. “Human dignity includes the inherent right not to suffer discrimination on the basis of innate characteristics, such as a human being’s race, sex or genetic characteristics, including any genetic abnormalities.”
The North Carolina Values Coalition is backing the pro-life bill. The coalition pointed to nine other states that also have laws prohibiting abortions based on an unborn baby’s disability and six that prohibit abortions because of an unborn baby’s race.
In recent years, a number of states have passed laws to protect unborn babies from discrimination. Arkansas, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri and Indiana are among them, but most of their anti-discrimination laws are being blocked in court.
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If upheld, these laws could protect thousands of unborn babies from abortion every year. Unborn babies with Down syndrome are targeted for abortions at astronomical rates. Recent reports in The Atlantic and CBS News found that nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland, 95 percent in Denmark and 77 percent in France. In the U.S., one study estimated the rate could be as high as 93 percent.
The deadly discrimination is getting worse with advances in prenatal testing. The Telegraph reports a recent article in the European Journal of Human Genetics found that the number of babies with Down syndrome born in the UK dropped 54 percent since the non-invasive prenatal screening tests became available about a decade ago.
What’s more, parents frequently report feeling pressured to abort unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities. One mom recently told the BBC that she was pressured to abort her unborn daughter 15 times, including right up to the moment of her baby’s birth. Another mother from Brooklyn, New York said doctors tried to convince her to abort her unborn son for weeks before they took no for an answer.
Lately, prominent pro-abortion groups, including NARAL and Planned Parenthood, have been arguing openly that abortions are ok for any reason, including discrimination and sex-selection.
“EVERY reason to have an abortion is a valid reason,” Colleen McNicholas, a Planned Parenthood abortionist, told the AP in 2019 when Missouri passed a law that bans abortions based on the unborn baby’s sex or a Down syndrome diagnosis.