By Mary Anne Buchanan, Communications Director
The Unborn Child with Down Syndrome Protection and Education Act, SB 468, successfully passed in the West Virginia Senate Wednesday, March 2, by a bipartisan vote of 28-5. SB 468 next moves to the House.
Sponsored by Senator Patricia Rucker, the bill will protect unborn children with disabilities from abortion and provide education and support for families with children who have disabilities. Senate Cosponsors are Senators Mike Azinger, Donna Boley, Charlie Clements, Amy Nichole Grady, Robert Karnes, Patrick Martin, Mike Maroney, Mark Maynard, Rupie Phillips, Rollan Roberts, Randy Smith, David Stover, Dave Sypolt, Eric Tarr, and Jack Woodrum.
Abortion has become a search-and-destroy method for eliminating those considered imperfect. Screening tests for most disabilities have very high false positive rates. After receiving the results of a screening test, families often have difficulty waiting until later in pregnancy to have the diagnostic tests that provide 100% accuracy. Instead, they are being pressured to abort babies with disabilities when as many as 80% of these babies could be perfectly healthy.
Worldwide, a substantial body of research conducted over the past several decades has revealed that women who chose to terminate a pregnancy due to fetal anomaly are at risk for serious, prolonged mental health problems. Women who choose not to abort experience less suffering than those who terminate.
“There is no excuse for these eugenically-driven policies here in West Virginia,” said WVFL President Wanda Franz. “We must prevent those with disabilities from being killed before they can even be born. The Unborn Child with Down Syndrome Protection and Education Act will provide education and support to those families,”
Over 90% of family members report love and happiness living with a family member with Down syndrome. In addition, 99% of those with Down syndrome report being happy. A Marist Poll (January 2021) showed that of the 1,173 adults surveyed, 70% “oppose abortion due to the expectation a child will be born with Down syndrome.”