Utah Down Syndrome DIscrimination Ban

  • Pro-Life Utah
  • 01/22/2018


Down Syndrome Anti-Discrimination Abortion Act HB-205


Salt Lake City, Utah

January 22, 2018

Contact:  1-385-288-1973

Salt Lake City, Utah
--Today, Utah’s upcoming Down Syndrome Discrimination Ban was introduced to the public through a press conference at the Utah State Capitol.  The bill’s main sponsor, pro-life Representative Karianne Lisonbee (R-Davis) hosted the press conference to educate the public about the vital importance of this legislation.  


The Down Syndrome Discrimination Ban will prohibit an abortion from being performed based solely on a pre-diagnosis or diagnosis of Down Syndrome. Pro-Life Utah is in support of this legislation.  This legislation, which will likely be introduced in the Utah House in the next few days, is co-sponsored by Senator Curtis S. Bramble (R- District 16).  


Mary Taylor:  “If people with Down Syndrome are never allowed to be born and make their mark on the world, how will others know how truly amazing they are? These are people of value and as such, they have something to bring to the world in which we live.  Pro-Life Utah is eager to prevent this discriminatory abortion practice here in Utah."  Mary Taylor, President of Pro-Life Utah states.


Deanna Holland, Pro-Life Utah Vice President says that as pro-life advocates we are “sensitive to the needs and feelings of women with new and unfamiliar diagnosis.  We want these moms to know that there are wonderful groups and organizations waiting to help.  There are so many reasons for women to choose life for their babies. We just need to get that message out to the women who need it.”  


This legislation comes in response to studies and statistics which show that children with Down Syndrome are being aborted at alarming rates around the world and in the United States.  


In 2017, Ben Achour, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee defended the use of abortion to eradicate babies with Down syndrome.


“If you tell a woman, ‘Your child has Dow…’ — what is it called? Down syndrome, Dawn syndrome — if you tell her that, or that he may have a handicap forever … it should be possible for her to resort to abortion to avoid the handicap as a preventive measure,” Ben Achour said (translated from French).


The Tunisian lawyer said he is an “ardent defender of the handicapped,” but he sees no problem with babies with disabilities being aborted as long as they are in the womb.


“[This] doesn’t mean that we are against the disabled or that we won’t help the disabled when born disabled,” Ben Achour said. “But that does not mean that we have to accept to let a disabled fetus live. This is a preventive measure.”


The practice of aborting children based on a Down syndrome diagnosis has been applauded by news stations such as CBS and hailed as a victory in European countries like Denmark where 98 percent of babies with a positive diagnosis are aborted and in Iceland where 100 percent are aborted.


In 2016, a French court banned a pro-life commercial featuring smiling children with Down syndrome on the basis that it could "disturb the conscience" of women who had aborted their unborn children.


Under current trends throughout the world, people with Down Syndrome will be extinct in certain countries once those already born have died.  


The U.S. does not currently keep track of exactly how many babies with Down Syndrome are aborted each year and how that impacts the entire population of Down Syndrome Individuals.   Research estimates that abortion after prenatal diagnosis has reduced the population of individuals living with DS in the U.S. by approximately 30%.  The percentage varies from state to state depending on the liberal vs conservative demographics of each state.  Even though prenatal testing for Down Syndrome is unreliable with numerous false-positive results, the percentage of babies aborted because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis is likely to grow throughout the country as prenatal testing becomes more common.  

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