Pennsylvania lawmakers are taking steps to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discrimination.
On Wednesday, more than 40 Republican and Democrat lawmakers in the state House introduced the Down Syndrome Protection Act to ban abortions on unborn babies with Down syndrome, NorthcentralPA.com reports.
Sponsored by state Rep. Kate Klunk, R-Hanover, House Bill 1500 would add to a state law that already bans discriminatory abortions for sex-selection purposes. It also would create felony charges for abortionists who violate the legislation.
“Most of us know of a family touched by a Down syndrome child and know these children grow to lead joyful and fulfilling lives,” Klunk said in a statement.
The pro-life bill has bipartisan support and a good chance of passing the state legislature. However, a veto is likely from Gov. Tom Wolf, a pro-abortion Democrat who used to volunteer at Planned Parenthood.
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In April, Chloe Kondrich, a Pennsylvania teenager who has Down syndrome, urged lawmakers to pass the pro-life bill during a legislative hearing on abortion.
“Please support and pass the Down Syndrome Protection Act because the world needs more people like me,” she said. “Embrace, don’t erase, Down syndrome!”
Her father, Kurt Kondrich, told lawmakers that abortions have become a modern means of eugenics, and society needs to respect all life.
“Who’s next? Will we get a prenatal test for autism? How about for depression? How about for baldness? How about for ADHD?” he asked. “It’s the ultimate form of discrimination … and it’s eugenics. When society says we can get rid of a person because they do not meet the cultural mandate for perfection, I think we’re all in trouble.”
Thanks to modern medicine, people with Down syndrome are living decades longer than they once did. And because of better social support and acceptance, some are becoming actors and models, business owners and lobbyists; some graduate from college and others get married. In 2018, a little boy from Georgia became the first Gerber Baby with Down syndrome.
At the same time, discrimination against unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities appears to be growing with advances in prenatal testing. According to The Telegraph, a recent article in the “European Journal of Human Genetics” found that the number of babies with Down syndrome born in the United Kingdom dropped 54 percent since the non-invasive prenatal screening tests became available about a decade ago.
A recent study highlighted in Scientific American also found evidence that families of children with Down syndrome often face negative, biased counseling and pressure to have abortions.
A few years ago, 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.
Lately, prominent pro-abortion groups, including NARAL and Planned Parenthood, have been arguing openly that abortions are ok for any reason, including discrimination. “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 sex-selection and Down syndrome-based abortions.
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