As we recently reported, the Center for Bioethics was active in supporting H.B. 135, the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act, a bill to ban abortion for babies with Trisomy 23, or Down Syndrome. The Community and Family Advancement Committee of the Ohio House of Representatives has just passed this bill with bipartisan support, moving this to the House floor.
Women who receive a diagnosis of Down Syndrome in early pregnancy choose abortion at a high rate, up to 90%. It is a sad commentary on the health profession that many doctors recommend abortion for such individuals with mild physical and cognitive disabilities. But our culture should be more inclusive and welcoming. According to Ohio Right to Life Executive Director Stephanie Krider:
More and more, it seems that society is rejecting discrimination in favor of diversity, empathy, and understanding for the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our communities. It makes sense that we would apply that practice across the whole spectrum of life, to protect some of the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, starting in the womb.
If the bill passes in the Ohio General Assembly, we would become the second state (after North Dakota) to ban such selective discrimination.
Please pray – this could be good news for all of us.