Pennsylvania House lawmakers approved a pro-life bill Tuesday to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from being targeted for abortions.
Sponsored by state Rep. Kate Klunk, R-Hanover, the bill would add Down syndrome to a state law that bans discriminatory abortions for sex-selection purposes. The bill would prohibit an abortion if the sole reason is because the unborn baby has a Down syndrome diagnosis and create felony charges for abortionists who violate the ban.
“I believe we truly have a responsibility to stand up for those who do not have a voice,” Klunk said.
The pro-life bill has a strong chance of passing the state legislature. However, Gov. Tom Wolf, a pro-abortion Democrat who used to volunteer at Planned Parenthood, recently vowed to veto the legislation.
Some Democrat state lawmakers complained that the bill would make “it a crime to think and consider options” and unfairly punish doctors who do abortions, according to the AP.
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But Maria V. Gallagher, legislative director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life, emphasized that the bill would protect the rights of people with disabilities as well as unborn babies.
“People with Down syndrome contribute greatly to our communities, workplaces, schools and families, and their rights should be protected. There is no more important right than the very right to life,” Gallagher told LifeNews.com.
Prior to the vote Tuesday, state Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren, urged lawmakers to support the bill, noting how abortion has become a modern means of genocide.
“People with Down syndrome are living longer than ever and they’re happier than most of us,” Rapp said. “So why are many of them being aborted, why? It’s a curious and heart-wrenching question, because there never has been a better time in all of history for people with Down syndrome.”
Discrimination against unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities appears to be growing with advances in prenatal testing. According to The Telegraph, a recent article in the “European Journal of Human Genetics” found that the number of babies with Down syndrome born in the United Kingdom dropped 54 percent since the non-invasive prenatal screening tests became available about a decade ago.
A few years ago, 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.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvanians with Down syndrome and their families have been advocating for the bill along with pro-lifeadvocates.
In April, Chloe Kondrich, a teenager who has Down syndrome, asked state lawmakers to pass the pro-life bill during a legislative hearing.
“Please support and pass the Down Syndrome Protection Act because the world needs more people like me,” she said. “Embrace, don’t erase, Down syndrome!”
Her father, Kurt Kondrich, said abortions have become a modern means of eugenics, and society needs to respect all life.
“Who’s next? Will we get a prenatal test for autism? How about for depression? How about for baldness? How about for ADHD?” he asked. “It’s the ultimate formof discrimination … and it’s eugenics. When society says we can get rid of a person because they do not meet the cultural mandate for perfection, I think we’re all in trouble.”
Thanks to modern medicine,people with Down syndrome are living decades longer than they once did. And because of better social support and acceptance, some are becoming actors and models, business owners and lobbyists; some graduate from college and others get married. In 2018, a little boy from Georgia became the first Gerber Baby with Down syndrome.
Despite these advances, 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.
Lately, prominent pro-abortion groups, including NARAL and Planned Parenthood, have been arguing openly that abortions are ok for any reason, including discrimination. “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 sex-selection and Down syndrome-based abortions.
ACTION ALERT: Contact Pennsylvania state senators and urge support for this important pro-life legislation.