Even proponents admit that the prohibition will be difficult to implement. Nonetheless, 2021 has been a watershed moment for lawmakers in numerous jurisdictions aiming to outlaw abortions based solely on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Court Ruling Highlights The Ban On Abortion Of Down Syndrome Lives
Similar legislation has recently been signed into law by the governors of Arizona and South Dakota, and similar measures are currently being considered in North Carolina and Texas. Most importantly, a federal appealing court ruled that Ohio may resume enforcing a 2017 rule that had been suspended.
Although the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision contradicted earlier with federal court rulings, anti-abortion campaigners think it enhances the likelihood that the United States Supreme Court would decide to hear a case addressing the difficult problems raised by the law. This might pave the way for prohibitions to be imposed in states where judges have previously blocked them.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court announced its readiness to review the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established a statewide right to abortion, with a 6-3 conservative majority arising from three selections by previous President Donald Trump. The court agreed to hear a case involving Mississippi legislation that would prohibit abortions beyond 15 weeks. Roe effectively authorized any abortion performed before a fetus could live outside the mother’s womb, which is often about 24 weeks.
Katherine Beck Johnson, who is a conservative Family Research Council lawyer, said that the Down syndrome legislation might be easily evaded. Doctors may advise females not to reveal the particular reasons for their desire for an abortion.
But, even though it’s difficult to implement, she believes it’s worthwhile to approve. A state must demonstrate that it does not favor eugenics and that it would like to eradicate the stigma associated with persons with Down syndrome.
Proponents of the measures, including some parents of Down syndrome children, insist that elected authorities should not interfere with a woman’s very personal decision about whether to bring a pregnancy to term following a Down syndrome diagnosis.
These prohibitions are arrogant, implying that individuals lack the ability to make their judgments, according to Holly Christensen, a teacher and newspaper writer in Ohio, whose 8-year-old daughter, Lyra, has Down syndrome.
Christensen argues that anti-abortion campaigners’ drive for such legislation to gain a case before the Supreme Court has undermined attempts to spread more information about Down syndrome so that more families are ready to raise children with the condition.She wants Ohio lawmakers to improve spending for schooling and services for disabled children.
According to the NDSS (National Down Syndrome Society), approximately one in every 700 newborns in the United States, or around 6,000 per year, is born with the disorder, which is caused by a chromosomal anomaly. There are no official numbers on how often prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis result in a choice to abort. A 2012 research by medical professionals estimated the abortion rate to be 67 percent.
Historically, many children with Down syndrome were institutionalized. According to Christensen, they commonly gain work skills and some degree of self-sufficiency these days. Their life expectancy is more than 60 years, which is far more than triple of what was predicted just a few decades ago.
If you inform a lady that she will be forced to have a Down syndrome child, she’ll question herself because it is so horrible that they’re going to compel her to do this, said Christensen.
According to the majority decision, the Ohio legislation is intended to shield the Down syndrome society from the prejudice associated with the practice of Down syndrome-selective abortions.
Arizona’s recent Down syndrome legislation, which was included in a comprehensive anti-abortion package approved by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey the previous month, is set to go into effect later this year. It, like the Ohio bill, calls for criminal prosecution against doctors who conduct abortions on the basis of a Down syndrome or another genetic abnormality diagnosis. Opponents want to file a lawsuit to prevent it.