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Ohio is about to ban abortion for Down Syndrome babies

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

COLUMBUS, Ohio, December 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A pro-life bill protecting preborn babies with a probable Down syndrome diagnosis has been sent to Governor John Kasich’s desk for his signature into law.

The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act passed the Ohio Senate 20-12 and passed the Ohio House 63-30 last month. On Wednesday, the bill was delivered to Gov. Kasich.

The governor called the bill “appropriate” and promised to sign it. In a 2015 interview on CNN, Kasich said, “I’m more than glad to say that, of course, I would sign that.”

Up to 90 percent of preborn babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted, even though the chromosomal abnormality has not stopped such people from living happy, fulfilling lives (Watch amazing video below of 21-year-old Charlotte Fien with Down syndrome addressing a UN conference on World Down syndrome Day, March 21, 2017). 

"A prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome should not mean a death sentence,” Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis stated. “Both the House and the Senate sent a loud message that we are a society built on compassion, love, equality ... Every Ohioan deserves the right to life, no matter how many chromosomes they have.”

The pro-life leader characterized Down syndrome abortions as “discrimination,” and decried the “modern-day eugenic practice of aborting babies with Down syndrome.”

Gonidakis added that with this law, “we are one step closer to ensuring that Ohioans with Down syndrome are recognized as humans worthy of dignity, just as they are.”

Opponents say the law is unenforceable, even though the law instructs the state department of health to “adopt rules” to “assist in compliance.”

Ironically, Democrats argued the legislation doesn’t help Ohioans with Down syndrome. ACLU lobbyist Gary Daniels stated that the bill "does nothing to improve the lives of people with disabilities.” 

Three Republicans broke ranks to vote against the pro-life bill: Matt Dolan (Chagrin Falls), Gayle Manning (North Ridgeville), and Stephanie Kunze (Hilliard).

The Democrats were successful in adding two amendments to the law. One ensures no tax dollars would be spent to legally defend the law, and the other ensures that women cannot be compelled to reveal why they abort.

A small group of abortion activists held signs outside the Senate chamber Wednesday. Planned Parenthood also had a protest rally at the Statehouse Thursday.

Abortion providers caught violating the ban may receive punishments of up to $5,000 in fines and up to 18 months in jail and a possible loss of license.  There are no legal punishments for the women who aborts a Down syndrome baby.

The medical journal Prenatal Diagnosis reports that up to 85 percent of pregnant women who receive a Downs diagnosis abort their child.  The numbers are so high that the European Center for Law and Justice appealed to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in an oral intervention, calling the practice a “contemporary form of eugenics and racism.”

One in 691 babies is conceived with Down syndrome. The cause is not known, but it can be detected in the womb or after birth to help the child therapeutically.

Live Action reports that parents are often misinformed about Downs.

“They are not informed of the advances in science and medicine that allow people with Down syndrome to lead successful lives. Today, people with Down syndrome receive equal education alongside their peers, and many live on their own, get married, and hold jobs.”

Addressing this concern, Ohio and several other states passed a pro-information law to give women more accurate and less stigmatizing data on the disability.

Amniocentesis testing for Downs can be wrong.  The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics found so many inaccurate diagnoses that it took “diagnostic” off the product description of some testing products and called them simply, “prenatal screening.”

The Down Syndrome Prenatal Testing website admits, “None of the new blood tests provide a definite answer.  None. Of. Them.”

In fact, the newer, less invasive testing has been found to give a false “positive” 50 percent of the time.  The Boston Globe published a major study by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting that concluded “hundreds” of parents are aborting healthy babies.

With Kasich’s signature, Ohio would become the fourth state to prohibit abortion because of Downs and/or possible fetal abnormality.  

North Dakota’s 2013 ban covers any “genetic abnormality or a potential for a genetic abnormality.”  

A federal judge decided Indiana’s fetal protection law was unconstitutional because the state has no authority to limit a woman’s reasons for terminating her child.  The state has appealed.

Louisiana’s 2016 law is not enforced while the Center for Reproductive Rights challenges it, along with six other pro-life laws.

Kasich has ten days to sign the legislation into law. Pro-life lawmakers have passed twenty bills to protect preborns since Kasich became governor of Ohio.

Last year, Governor John Kasich signed into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which forbids abortion after twenty weeks, but simultaneously vetoed a pro-life ban on abortions after the baby’s heartbeat is detected.

The ACLU of Ohio has said they are weighing their options regarding a court challenge.



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