Indiana a Leader in Preventing Discriminatory Down Syndrome Abortions

August 18, 2017

Most Hoosiers share the common belief that all lives should be treated with dignity. We recognize our shared humanity cuts across race, sex, disability or the number of chromosomes we have.

Unfortunately, Hoosier values aren’t a given. Take the recent turmoil in Charlottesville. Or the CBS News feature on the extermination of those with Down syndrome in Iceland.

We’re calling the targeting of unborn babies who likely have Down syndrome for abortion, “extermination.” But CBS News’ spin on this targeting is that Iceland is simply “eliminating” Down syndrome. As if aborting these unborn babies can be compared to preventing polio through a vaccine.

We can’t wipe out a whole class of people and then pat ourselves on the back for their extinction. We as a human race must be better than this. We can celebrate our differences. We can learn from one another. We can love and lift one another up.

Indiana has taken a stand against discrimination. Last year, the state legislature, with the signature of now Vice President Mike Pence, passed the Dignity for the Unborn law. This law said that an unborn child can’t be aborted because of his or her race, sex, national origin or a potential disability, like Down syndrome. We were the first state in the nation to pass this type of ground-breaking legislation, offering civil rights protections for the unborn.

This is what rejecting hate looks like. It’s saying, “a child shouldn’t lose his life because he’s black.” It’s saying, “a child doesn’t have to die because she’s a girl.” It’s saying, “a child mustn’t be aborted because the father has a national origin different from the mother.” It’s saying, “a child doesn’t deserve a death sentence because she might have Down syndrome.”

Sadly, not even all Hoosiers can love and accept that those unborn lives have value and worth. Planned Parenthood and their allies at the American Civil Liberties Union sued over the Dignity for the Unborn law. They found a sympathetic judge willing to allow babies to be targeted for abortion because of their sex, race and potential disability. So, targeted abortions continue to be legal.

The court battle over the Dignity for the Unborn law is far from over.

In the meantime, we do well to consider what Iceland has done by stripping the value and worth from every human life with Down syndrome. They have encouraged mothers to issue a death sentence to their own offspring. They have exterminated all the joy and happiness that those with Down syndrome bring to their families and communities. They have made a sad statement about life.

Next time you see a mom in the store with her Down syndrome child, or a man with Down syndrome cheering on your hometown team, greet them with a smile. Every life deserves dignity. A little love can go a long way.

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