Jim Justice Bans Abortions on Down Syndrome Babies
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice today signed a pro-life bill taking another step to stop abortions and protect unborn children with Down Syndrome from abortion.
Recently, state lawmakers approved a bill that would ban abortions done on babies with Down syndrome — who are often target in abortions when prenatal tests indicate the baby may have the condition. With just five minutes left in the regular 60-day session, the Unborn Child with Down Syndrome Protection and Education Act (SB 468), a bill supported by West Virginians for Life (WVFL), successfully passed in the West Virginia Senate by a bipartisan 27-5 vote after an 81-17 vote in the House of Delegates earlier in the day.
The bill will protect unborn babies from being aborted due to a diagnosis of a disability and will require doctors to provide educational materials and information on the support systems available to families raising children with disabilities.
The law goes into effect June 10 and Justice said it is needed because of the discriminatory manner in which some babies are targeted with abortions.
“It just seems terribly discriminatory in my book,” Justice said.
Justice signed the bill on World Down Syndrome Day. World Down Syndrome Day is observed on March 21 to advocate for full inclusion in society of individuals with Down syndrome.
The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List applauded the signing and its president Marjorie Dannenfelser told Lifenews: “West Virginia takes a bold step forward today in the fight against eugenic discrimination in America. Research shows 99% of people with Down syndrome lead happy lives, yet instead of being cherished and included, far too often they are targeted for destruction in the womb where they are most vulnerable. We are proud to stand with West Virginians, the community of self-advocates and their loved ones calling on our nation to ‘embrace, not erase’ Down syndrome.”
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