On Friday, the Utah House passed a bill that, if approved by the Senate and signed by the governor, would protect preborn children with Down syndrome from being aborted for the condition. The bill was approved by a vote of 54 to 15.
According to the Associated Press, “The legislation approved Friday would only go into effect if a similar law is upheld in court, a provision added to address concerns that it could embroil the state in an expensive lawsuit.” The Daily Wire reports that the bill “would make seeking a Down syndrome-specific abortion a Class A misdemeanor.” Currently, the Supreme Court is yet to determine whether they will hear an appeal on an Indiana law banning abortions on preborn children because of Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is not, in itself, a life-threatening condition, and therefore, children who have it have a strong chance of going on to live healthy and full lives. The AP says, “People with Down syndrome and their families have spoken in favor of the measure” that would protect children like theirs from discriminatory, eugenic abortion in the state.
Families have begun speaking out about how they were pressured extensively by physicians and other medical personnel upon receiving a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. Down syndrome self-advocates have also spoken out about why they feel people like them should not be eradicated through abortion. Some countries appear to have made it their mission to do away with Down syndrome — but not by looking for a “cure”; instead, they abort nearly every single child diagnosed with it. Iceland made headlines in 2017 for this very reason. Live Action News reported at the time, “[W]ith a population of 330,000, [Iceland] sees only about two children a year born with Down syndrome,” and those reportedly are because the prenatal testing done on pregnant women isn’t 100 percent reliable. Denmark is similar.
Utah has been working to protect preborn children and their mothers. On January 1 of this year, another pro-life measure went into effect in the state. As previously reported by Live Action News, Utah’s law “requires a woman to complete an online module which would educate her on childbirth (including fetal development, with photos), abortion (including a section on fetal pain), adoption, and other aid resources available to her before she makes her decision about her pregnancy.” Abortion supporters frequently oppose such laws, but many women who have had abortions say that had they been fully informed before having an abortion, they would have made a different choice. Laws ensuring that women are informed before an abortion has the potential to save women from a lifetime of regret.
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