By Dave Andrusko
Cementing its status as one of the nation’s most pro-life states, South Dakota’s House State Affairs Committee today unanimously supported HB 1110 which, NRL News Today previously reported, bans abortion based on a diagnosis that the unborn child has Down syndrome.
Pro-life Gov. Kristi Noem was actively involved. As Austin Goss reported today, “Governor Noem’s down syndrome abortion ban passes to House floor: Noem has been heavily backing the bill since the legislative session started in January.”
Some 14 people testified in favor of the bill and none against. Even Democrats state Reps. Jamie Smith and Oren Lesmeister voted in favor.
Katie Shaw, an advocate for Down syndrome from Indiana, said her parents found out she had Down syndrome when her mother was pregnant. Her doctors didn’t mention abortion, she said, and told her parents she would need surgery the day she was born to “start planning what would help me have a wonderful life.”
“Help those with Down syndrome have a chance,” she told the House State Affairs committee Wednesday morning. “Make the world more wonderful.”
Tami Fite, of Platte, testified alongside her family. She and her husband adopted their son Cod, knowing he had Down syndrome, she said .She added she knew many other families in South Dakota who would do or have done the same.
“We were unable to have children of our own. We knew we would be willing to be called to raising children with Down syndrome,” she said.
In her State of the State address, Gov. Noem promised to introduce the bill.
Gov. Noem said, “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. 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.”
As NRL News Today has reported, virtually every baby diagnosed with Down syndrome in Iceland is aborted, 95% in Denmark are aborted (“In 2019, only 18 were born in the entire country,” according to the Atlantic), and 77% are aborted in France. Approximately two out of third babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the United States are aborted.
In addition, as we reported elsewhere today, a bill requiring equal treatment for abortion survivors is on its way to Gov. Noem’s desk.