Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana spoke out against the abortion of babies with Down syndrome in an interview with the Catholic News Agency last week.
“This is eugenics, and we cannot allow this to continue in our country,” said Daines, the chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus.
He also criticized fellow lawmakers who support the Special Olympics, an event that typically highlights athletes with Down syndrome and other disabilities, but also support abortions based on a prenatal diagnosis.
“On one hand, these pro-abortion thinkers and leaders will applaud the Special Olympics. On the other hand, they support selective abortions for babies with Down syndrome,” Daines said.
“To me, those are two views that are in great conflict with one another.”
Republicans have lately been eying bans on Down syndrome abortions as the next item on the pro-life agenda.
Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe reintroduced the Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act, with Daines and many other Republican senators co-sponsoring the bill.
This week, I co-sponsored 16 pieces of pro-life legislation & introduced my own bill, the Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act, ahead of the annual #MarchforLife. These bills are an important first step in protecting the basic right to life & ending on-demand abortion. https://t.co/AsHpmyZoOU
— Sen. Jim Inhofe (@JimInhofe) January 30, 2021
“The Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act would enact a federal ban on the performance of an abortion with the knowledge that a pregnant woman is seeking an abortion, in whole or in part, on the basis of a belief that her unborn child has Down syndrome. This legislation would not penalize the expectant mother in any way,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s office explained in a news release.
Under the Biden administration and a Democratic-majority Congress, it is unlikely that landmark pro-life legislation will become federal law.
On the state level, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a rising Republican Party star, recently introduced a bill to her state legislature calling for the same ban.
“The Declaration of Independence summarizes what we all know in our hearts to be true: God created each of us and endowed all of us with the right to life. This is true for everyone, including those with an extra chromosome,” Noem said in a statement, according to KCAU-TV.
“I look forward to the day when the Supreme Court recognizes that all preborn children inherently possess this right to life, too. Until that time comes, I am asking the South Dakota legislature to pass a law that bans the abortion of a preborn child, just because that child is diagnosed with Down syndrome.”
Today, I introduced a bill to ban abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
God created each of us and endowed all of us with the right to life. This is true for everyone. Even preborn babies. Even those with an extra chromosome.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) January 25, 2021
About one in every 700 babies is both with Down syndrome, which has become more common in recent decades.
European nations like Iceland have drastically decreased the number of children born with the syndrome, but only because of the popularity of abortion based on the diagnosis.
While Roe v. Wade technically legalized abortion at the federal level, many states have imposed restrictions ranging from heartbeat bills to defunding Planned Parenthood clinics.
As the abortion issue is exceedingly complicated, it will take many small steps in order for the pro-life movement to truly achieve its goals.
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