WASHINGTON, D.C. – Concerned Women for America President and CEO Penny Nance celebrates World Down Syndrome Day as the North Dakota legislature passes a historic, first-in-the nation bill that bans abortions for genetic abnormalities, uniquely protecting children diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb:
“Today is about the rights, inclusion, and well-being of people with Down syndrome. Part of that is giving them the same shot we all have at a life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. North Dakota took a huge step in protecting children diagnosed with Down syndrome by passing HB 1305, which bans abortions on the basis of genetic abnormality. Many may not realize that while federal and state laws protect women and the disabled from discrimination, the unborn are not similarly protected. HB 1305 cures this deficiency in the law and ensures protection for unborn children who are targeted for death solely because of their genetic abnormalities.
“The sad reality is that we are currently aborting 90 percent of the babies who are identified as possibly having Down syndrome. This shocking statistic caused Concerned Women for America to develop an educational brochure for expectant mothers and fathers offering encouragement, a positive perspective, and a list of resources and support groups to help families learn more about their baby’s opportunities.
“When tests indicate the possibility of Down syndrome or other genetic disabilities, some physicians will place pressure on a pregnant woman to have an abortion. Many expectant parents feel overwhelmed by such a prenatal diagnosis and may not understand that the test results can be inaccurate. They also may not understand the many opportunities and resources available today. The result is a 90 percent abortion rate often based on lack of information, a lack of connecting with the excellent support services that are available, and/or outright pressure to abort.
“Some physicians and patients have outdated information regarding what life holds for a child with Down syndrome in the 21st century. Advances in medical technology have led to better management and understanding of Down syndrome or other genetic abnormalities, and many individuals with these diagnoses lead productive lives with rewarding personal relationships. It’s a gross abuse of technology to allow parents to be able to kill their babies on the basis of genetic abnormalities or a potential genetic abnormality.”
The National Down Syndrome Society explains, “Down syndrome occurs in one out of every 733 live births, and more than 350,000 people in the U.S. have this genetic condition. One of the most frequently occurring chromosomal abnormalities, Down syndrome affects people of all ages, races and economic levels. Today, individuals with Down syndrome are active participants in the educational, vocational, social and recreational aspects of our communities. In fact, there are more opportunities than ever before for individuals with Down syndrome to develop their abilities, discover their talents and realize their dreams.”
For more information on Down syndrome and to view CWA’s Down syndrome brochure, click here.
If you are interested in an interview with CWA CEO and President Penny Nance and/or CWA
North Dakota State Director Janne Myrdal, please contact Alison Howard at 609-517-7235.
Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with 500,000 participating members across the country, over 450 Prayer/Action Chapters and Home Teams, 600 trained leaders and over 30 years of service to our nation