A new pro-life law is taking effect this week in South Dakota and it bans abortions on babies with Down syndrome. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed the pro-life bill into law back and March and it went into effect yesterday.
Noem signed HB 1110, which bans abortion based on a diagnosis of Down Syndrome as well as three other pro-life bills to protect babies from abortions. Both chambers of the South Dakota legislature passed the ban unanimously. The unanimous 35-0 vote in the state Senate happened less than two weeks after the state House also unanimously passed the pro-life bill. The House vote was 68-0.
At the time, Noem said, “The Declaration of Independence summarizes what we all know in our hearts to be true: God created each of us and endowed all of us with the right to life. This is true for everyone, including those with an extra chromosome.”
“I look forward to the day when the Supreme Court recognizes that all preborn children inherently possess this right to life, too. Until that time comes, I am pleased to sign a ban on the abortion of a preborn child, just because that child is diagnosed with Down syndrome, as well as several other important pro-life bills,” the governor added.
The governor celebrated the new pro-life law going into effect with a tweet on Twitter.
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“Little Valentina Duffy is such a beautiful baby, and she happens to have Down Syndrome. Several pro-life bills that I signed are becoming law in South Dakota TODAY, including a ban on abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis. We’re protecting the right to life of all SD kids,” she said.
Little Valentina Duffy is such a beautiful baby, and she happens to have Down Syndrome. Several pro-life bills that I signed are becoming law in South Dakota TODAY, including a ban on abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis. We’re protecting the right to life of all SD kids. pic.twitter.com/SDGsjR5JbJ
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) July 1, 2021
The new law will prohibit abortionists from knowingly aborting an unborn baby because the baby has or may have Down syndrome. Exceptions would be allowed if an abortion is “necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman because her life is endangered by a physical disorder … if no other medical procedure would suffice for that purpose.”
The governor previously said she wants to protect every unborn baby from abortion, but the U.S. Supreme Court prohibits states from doing so under Roe v. Wade.
Until Roe is overturned, “I am asking the South Dakota legislature to pass a law that bans the abortion of a preborn child, just because that child is diagnosed with Down syndrome,” Noem said in January.
Experts and individuals who testified in favor of the legislation emphasized how unborn babies with Down syndrome frequently are discriminated against in the womb.
During a February hearing, Dr. Tara Sander Lee, a researcher and clinical scientist with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, pointed lawmakers to studies from the U.S. and United Kingdom that found an abortion rate of between 61 percent and 93 percent for unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome.
“Destroying the patient is not curative medicine. Today’s rates of abortion in the case of a Down syndrome diagnosis are nothing more than a modern-day form of eugenics,” Lee told the committee.
Others who testified in favor of the legislation included disability rights advocate Katie Shaw who has Down syndrome, according to the Argus Leader.
“Help those with Down syndrome have a chance,” Shaw told lawmakers. “Make the world more wonderful.”
A number of states have passed laws to protect unborn babies from discrimination in recent years. Arkansas, Ohio, North Dakota, Missouri and Indiana are among them, but most of their anti-discrimination laws are being blocked in court.
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.
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.