By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Planned Parenthood has come down squarely on the side against disability rights in Pennsylvania.
The abortion giant has been lobbying hard against House Bill 321, the Down Syndrome Protection Act. This common sense bill would ban abortion in cases of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
The legislation is needed because of the astronomical abortion rate for babies with an extra chromosome. It has been estimated that the vast majority of babies in the womb diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.
Philadelphia.com columnist Christine Flowers expertly summed up the situation in a single tweet when she wrote that Planned Parenthood “is responsible for half of abortions annually in Pennsylvania and their top priority in recent days is opposing #HB321, legislation that simply says a woman’s sole reason for abortion cannot be a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Their priority is profit, not women.”
A previous version of the Down Syndrome Protection Act passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives last year by an overwhelming, bipartisan, veto-proof majority. The bill stalled in the PA Senate, where it never received a floor vote.
Hopes are high that prospects for the bill are better in 2019—a non-election year for the state legislature.
The legislation comes at a time when people with Down syndrome are making tremendous progress, contributing greatly to our families, workplaces, schools, and communities. For instance, Chloe Kondrich, a teenager with Down syndrome, has accomplished much in her young life, meeting with the President, Vice-President, and a who’s who of sports figures and musical artists.
Chloe even made history on St. Patrick’s Day by joining with a pro-life campaigner from Ireland, Michael O’Dowd, in signing the Declaration for the Eradication of the Genocide of Persons with Down Syndrome. The agreement, signed at the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, achieved international media attention.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood is clearly on the wrong side of history in trying to deny the right to life of citizens with Down syndrome. Future generations are likely to look at the abortion behemoth as a source of the greatest discrimination against persons with disabilities, by snuffing out their lives before they could even take their first breath.