North Carolina House Committee Passes Bill to Ban Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 4, 2021   |   5:32PM   |   Charlotte, North Carolina

A North Carolina House committee passed a pro-life bill Tuesday to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discrimination.

The Human Life Non-Discrimination Act (state House Bill 453) would prohibit abortionists from knowingly doing an abortion that is sought because of the unborn baby’s race or the likelihood that he or she has Down syndrome.

The bill passed the state House Health Committee on Tuesday and now moves to the Judiciary Committee for consideration, according to the Associated Press.

WECT News 6 reports pro-life lawmakers said they want to end “discriminatory eugenic abortions” in North Carolina, and the law would add to the 2013 ban on discriminatory sex-selection abortions.

State Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union County, a lead sponsor of the bill, said North Carolina citizens want a society that values children.

“We do not want to be the kind of society that not only discriminates but disposes of children because of the way they are created,” Arp said. “North Carolina citizens do not want to be that kind of society either.”

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But Democrat lawmaker Rep. Verla Insko, of Orange County, opposed the legislation, claiming it would be “discriminatory against pregnant women,” according to the AP.

The bill has a chance of passing the Republican-controlled state legislature, but Gov. Roy Cooper, a pro-abortion Democrat, likely would veto it if it reaches his desk.

Discriminatory, eugenic abortions have become of increasing concern with the growing availability of prenatal genetic testing. Unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities are targeted for abortions at astronomical rates. Many believe sex-selection abortions also occur in the U.S., though data is limited.

A CBS News report shocked the nation with its exposure of the discriminatory abortion trend. According to the report, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland. 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.

Many parents also feel pressured by doctors and genetic counselors to consider abortion after a prenatal diagnosis. One mom recently told the BBC that she was pressured to abort her unborn daughter 15 times after she was diagnosed with Down syndrome, including right up to the time of her baby’s birth. In another case, a 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.

A recent study highlighted in Scientific American found evidence that families of children with Down syndrome often face negative, biased counseling and pressure to have abortions.

Other states with laws that protect unborn babies with disabilities include Arkansas, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri and Indiana. However, most are not in effect because of legal challenges.