WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Congressman Ron Estes (R-Kansas) introduced the Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act.
The bill would place a federal ban on the performance of abortions solely based on a pre-natal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
“National Right to Life is grateful for the leadership of Senator Inhofe and Congressman Estes in protecting children who do not deserve to die because they have an extra chromosome,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “An unborn child deserves the same protections as any other American who is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Parents of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome are often encouraged to have an abortion. It is estimated that, in the U.S., the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero is approximately 67%. Other countries, such as Iceland, have abortion rates up to 100% for unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome.
“October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and, appropriately, this legislation protects the right to life of individuals who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome,” stated Tobias. “Every person, regardless of ability or whether she is born or unborn, should be accepted in life and protected by law.”
The legislation will make it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion because an unborn child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or is suspected of having Down syndrome. The legislation also prevents a woman from being forced to have an abortion because her unborn child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. The legislation includes penalties for doctors who violate the legislation with judgments including fines and/or imprisonment for up to five years. Mothers are not subject to prosecution or penalties of any kind.