The North Carolina state Senate has passed a bill to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discrimination. Senators passed the bill on a party-line vote with Republicans voting pro-life and Democrats voting pro-abortion and the measure now heads to pro-abortion Gov. Roy Cooper.

The Human Life Non-Discrimination Act (state House Bill 453) would prohibit abortionists from knowingly doing an abortion that is sought because of the unborn baby’s race or the likelihood that he or she has Down syndrome.

Pro-life lawmakers said they want to end “discriminatory eugenic abortions” in North Carolina, and the law would add to the 2013 ban on discriminatory sex-selection abortions.

State Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union County, a lead sponsor of the bill, said North Carolina citizens want a society that values children.

“We do not want to be the kind of society that not only discriminates but disposes of children because of the way they are created,” Arp said. “North Carolina citizens do not want to be that kind of society either.”

“Children should not have to pass a genetic test to earn the right to be born,” said Sen. Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth. “This is eugenics in its worst form.”

Krawiec noted that Down syndrome tests are incorrect about half of the time, and Sen. Amy Galey, R-Alamance, said that physicians sometimes encourage women to have abortions if a test shows the genetic abnormality.

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“I do not think that one person should get to end the life of another human being because of a judgment about the value of that individual person’s life,” Galey said. “Think about the distinction about not wanting to be a mother or a parent at all and not wanting to parent this person.”

“We applaud the North Carolina legislature for prioritizing this compassionate bill to end lethal discrimination in North Carolina and call on Governor Cooper to swiftly sign it into law,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, a North Carolina native. “Across the nation, people are sending a clear message to pro-abortion politicians and to the Supreme Court: the extreme status quo imposed by Roe v. Wade has been rejected. State legislators, acting on the will of their constituents, have approved more than 80 pro-life laws in this year alone. Governor Cooper should heed this historical groundswell and follow the will of the people he represents by signing this bill that will protect the most vulnerable in his state.”

“We thank state Senator Joy Krawiec, as well as our good friend and advocate Tami Fitzgerald, for championing this life-saving legislation.”

Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of NC Values Coalition, added: “The North Carolina Values Coalition backs this bill because every child should have the chance to live a full, happy life. We look forward to North Carolina joining the leading edge of states enacting protections against the discrimination of unborn children.”

Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., senior fellow and director of life sciences at SBA List’s research arm Charlotte Lozier Institute, and anti-discrimination advocate Katie Shaw both testified before the state senate in support of the bill.

Sixteen states have enacted bans on one or more types of discrimination abortion – including 12 states that protect unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome. Polling shows that 70% of oppose abortion based on the expectation that an unborn child may have Down syndrome.

A separate poll released by SBA List this week of likely voters conducted by OnMessage Inc. finds a strong majority of voters reject abortion on demand and support limits on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The polling found that likely voters are much more likely to support Republican candidates who back a 15-week limit on abortion versus Democratic candidates who back unlimited abortion.

Discriminatory, eugenic abortions have become of increasing concern with the growing availability of prenatal genetic testing. Unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities are targeted for abortions at astronomical rates. Many believe sex-selection abortions also occur in the U.S., though data is limited.

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.

Many parents also feel pressured by doctors and genetic counselors to consider abortion after a prenatal diagnosis. One mom recently told the BBC that she was pressured to abort her unborn daughter 15 times after she was diagnosed with Down syndrome, including right up to the time of her baby’s birth. In another case, a 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.

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.

Other states with laws that protect unborn babies with disabilities include Arkansas, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri and Indiana. However, most are not in effect because of legal challenges.

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