Florida House Passes Bill Banning Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 23, 2021   |   2:46PM   |   Tallahassee, Florida

A bill in the Florida legislature would protect unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities from eugenic, discriminatory abortions. And the Florida state House just gave it a vote to send it to the state Senate.

Pro-life state House Bill 1221 passed the full House 77-44. If enacted, the legislation would prohibit abortionists from doing abortions if the reason is because an unborn baby has been diagnosed with a disability, such as Down syndrome. Exceptions would be allowed if the mother’s life is at risk.

“For those of you that feel as strongly as you do that abortion is health care, there are many of us that don’t feel that the killing of a child can ever be health care, and we feel just as strongly as you do in your beliefs,” said Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, according to the News Service of Florida.

Grall is the lead sponsor of the bill. State Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, R-Doral, filed an identical bill, Senate Bill 1664, in the Florida Senate.

A leading national pro-life group applauded the vote in an email to LifeNews.com.

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“Florida is a strongly pro-life state, and its legislators are right to prioritize babies diagnosed with a disability, who are all too frequently targeted for lethal discrimination before they are given a chance at life outside the womb,” said SBA List State Policy Director Sue Liebel. “We strongly encourage the Florida Senate and Governor Ron DeSantis to follow their lead and be swift in passing and signing this bill into law. We thank Rep. Erin Grall, a member of our National Pro-life Women’s Caucus, for championing this legislation.”

“With pro-life bills spreading like wildfire across the nation, it’s clear that Americans want their legislators to continue to pass life-saving laws that defy the pro-abortion extremism on display in Washington.”

Andrew Shirvell, Founder and Executive Director of Florida Voice for the Unborn, also praised lawmakers.

He said, “Children who are diagnosed with Down syndrome or another genetic disability prior to their birth should not be targeted for extermination. They are God’s children and have the same right to life as all other persons.”

Shirvell further stated, “I appreciate Rep. James Bush III (D—Miami-Dade County) for breaking with his Democratic colleagues and supporting this abortion ban. Listening today and yesterday to pro-abortion Democratic representatives voraciously defend, on the House floor, the systematic murder of disabled unborn children was nauseating. Equally sickening, however, was the fact that there were three Republican representatives who cowardly said nothing during the floor debate but nonetheless joined in voting against this abortion ban.”

“These three representativesare Rep. Mike Caruso (R—Palm Beach County), Rep. Sam Killebrew (R—Polk County), and Rep. Rene Plasencia (R—Brevard & Orange Counties).”

Meanwhile, the Planned Parenthood abortion chain opposed the bill, arguing that the decision to abort an unborn baby with disabilities should be between parents and their doctor.

A number of states have passed laws to protect unborn babies from discrimination in recent years amid mounting statistics showing that babies with disabilities frequently are targeted for abortions.

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.

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.

South Dakota lawmakers unanimously approved a law earlier this month to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from abortions. Arkansas, Ohio, North Dakota, Missouri and Indiana also passed pro-life anti-discrimination laws, but most are being blocked in court.

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.