Ohio Legislature Votes to End Abortion of Down Syndrome Babies

Source: District of the USA

The Ohio General Assembly - Photo: WOSU Radio

In good news from the Midwest USA, the Ohio legislature has passed bills in both houses to protect unborn babies with this form of mental retardation from elective abortion.

Soon following the state House of Representatives’ 60-30 vote November 1 for Bill 214 to ban abortions of babies suspected of having this disability, on Nov. 15 the Republican-majority state Senate passed its Bill 164 by an astonishing 20-12 majority.

Welcoming this news from the Senate, Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis made this statement:

Ohio Right to Life thanks our pro-life senators for taking a stand against the modern-day eugenic practice of aborting babies with Down syndrome…All Ohioans, regardless of the gender, skin color or disability, deserve the right to live out their God-given potential and purpose.”

However, passage of the bill in the Senate came at a price. Democratic-added amendments would tie the government’s hands if the ban is challenged in court so no public funds could defend it, and women could not be asked why they want an abortion, which would effectively undo the ban.

Democratic Senator Joe Schiavoni, vying for his party’s nomination for governor, has stated that the proposed ban is “scaring doctors and shaming women” who choose to kill a "burdensome" child. The pro-abortion political action group NARAL Pro-Choice weighed in, with Ohio executive director Kellie Copeland similarly asserting:

...doctors and parents of children with Down syndrome… all want women to have the power to make their own decisions on how and when they raise a family. They all oppose this bill.”

If the bills become law, doctors caught knowingly aborting Down-syndrome babies could be found guilty of a fourth-degree felony and lose their state medical licenses.

Frank Stephens, a man with Down syndrome gave a stirring testimony against abortion on Capitol Hill the same day the Ohio legislature took action: ‘Let’s be America, not Iceland’ - Photo: LifeSiteNews

Background on the Law


Caused by a genetic abnormality, Down syndrome occurs in about 1 out of 700 American babies. Besides intellectual disability, the syndrome has an increased risk of accompanying physical defects such as heart problems, difficulty breathing or hearing, Alzheimer’s disease, leukemia, and thyroid conditions.

While the political Left in Western societies often professes to care for those with disabilities, promoting such laudable things as Autism Awareness Month and decrying Nazism, its track record based on its support of abortion on demand (in parts of the United States, unusually, for all nine months of pregnancy) tells the true story. Countries considered civilized such as non-practicing Protestant (Lutheran) Iceland, for example, have eliminated Down syndrome among the population by fulfilling the Nazi eugenics ideal, stopping such life in the womb, which is even more effective than death camps or euthanasia.

A Grave Moral Issue


Although the Catholic Church understands the suffering of those with disabilities and those who care for them, the end never justifies the means; even so-called “mercy killing” is murder. The notion of exterminating humans is something civilized nations found abhorrent until relatively recently in history.

In contrast to the so-called compassion of secular society, there have been Catholics such as the late Dr. Jerome Lejeune defending human life in the womb as well as the rights of those with Down syndrome and other inherited disabilities, as well as the renowned Jean Vanier and his l’Arche communities for those born with these conditions.