Culture

Proposed Ohio Law Would Ban Abortions on Babies with Down Syndrome

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Years ago a friend described to me her daughter-in-law’s “noble” decision to abort a child with Down syndrome. “That baby was a monster,” my friend told me in a grave voice, as if a living human child could ever be a “monster.” The words have stuck with me all these years and I am reminded of them every time someone talks about protecting the most vulnerable among us — unborn babies with disabilities.

A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information and featured in the New York Times found that approximately 92% of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome are terminated. We worry that children are in danger from guns on the streets, drugs, biking accidents, vaccinations, too much sugar and any number of things that can be harmful. But nothing comes close to this. No child is more at risk in our society than those tiny babies with Down syndrome.

Ohio could be the second state in the nation to pass a law banning abortions on babies diagnosed with Down syndrome if the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act becomes law. Sponsored by state Representatives Dave Hall and Sarah LaTourette (daughter of former congressman Steve LaTourette), the bill would prohibit a person from “performing, inducing, or attempting to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman who is seeking the abortion because of a test result indicating Down Syndrome in an unborn child or a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome in an unborn child.” The bill received its first legislative hearing this week before the Ohio House Committee on Community and Family Advancement.

It’s rare to see a child with Down syndrome these days. Compared to their prevalence in our society before abortion on demand became legal, they’ve practically been eradicated as a population. We’ve so devalued the lives of these children that we call them “monsters” and end their lives before they begin — for their own good — and it’s heralded as a noble decision. If the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act becomes law, Ohio will become a leader in the fight to protect them, saying that unborn children cannot be denied life simply because they have a disability.