Pittsburgh father Kurt Kondrich is working to restore a culture of inclusion and respect for children with Down syndrome like his daughter, Chloe.
And he believes that must begin in the womb.
Speaking with Fox & Friends on Sunday, Kondrich praised West Virginia lawmakers for passing a bill to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from abortion this month.
“This legislation is ending the ultimate form of discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, profiling, because, what’s happening in our culture, they’re prenatally identifying, targeting and eliminating children with Down syndrome,” he said. “Legislation like this is priceless because it’s going to stop that and it’s going to bring awareness to what’s happening to beautiful people like my daughter, Chloe.”
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice plans to sign the bill Monday in honor of World Down Syndrome Day, according to the report.
The Unborn Child with Down Syndrome Protection and Education Act (Senate Bill 468), supported by West Virginians for Life, bans abortions on unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome and other disabilities. It also requires doctors to provide educational materials and information about the support available to families raising children with disabilities.
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Unborn babies with disabilities frequently are targeted for abortions, with some countries reporting abortion rates at nearly 100-percent after a prenatal diagnosis. Parents also frequently report feeling pressured by doctors and genetic counselors to abort unborn babies with Down syndrome.
Yet, thanks to medical advances and the efforts of disability rights advocates, people with Down syndrome are living longer and healthier lives and enjoying more opportunities than ever before. Some even go to college, open businesses, become actors and models and get married.
A series of studies published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics in 2011 found that more than 90 percent of family members report love and happiness living with a family member with Down syndrome. In addition, 99 percent of people with Down syndrome said they live happy lives.
This year, the theme of World Down Syndrome Day is inclusion, and Kondrich said that message includes all children, born and unborn. He said he hopes the West Virginia bill will cause a “tidal wave” of legislation across the U.S. to protect children with Down syndrome.
After Chloe was born and Kondrich began to learn more about her condition, he said he was horrified to learn about the eugenic abortion discrimination against unborn babies with Down syndrome.
Soon, he made it his life’s mission to protect children with Down syndrome. Now a national pro-life and disability rights advocate, he has spoken at the United Nations, the White House and all across the country about the need to protect children with special needs.
“Our mission is to end this extreme form of prejudice, of hate, of profiling, and restore a culture of life where people embrace, don’t erase, people with Down syndrome,” Kondrich told Fox & Friends. “They bring out the very best of us. They represent what the world needs: unconditional love, purity, genuine kindness and just everything that we are missing so much in our culture today.”