Last Tuesday, Oregon Democratic Governor Kate Brown, the nation’s only LBGT Governor, signed into law the most progressive abortion law into the nation. The law, passed on a party-line vote by the Oregon legislature (which means not even pro-choice Republicans could support it, they do exist in Oregon) in July makes abortion for any reason legal, puts taxpayers on the hook to subsidize the procedure and even allows illegal immigrants to acquire free abortions at taxpayer expense.
The $10.2 million bill takes effect immediately, allocating almost $500,000 for abortions for the over 22,000 women eligible under the plan. This includes female immigrants ineligible for the state exchange.
Unsurprisingly, lawsuits are sure to follow. Opponents argue the law violates the obscure Weldon Amendment, passed in 2004, that prohibits Health and Human Services from providing funding to states that discriminate against healthcare providers.
The initial version of HB 3391 provided few if any religious exemptions. Providence Healthcare, as a result, threatened to exit the state exchange if changes were not made to the law. Providence, churches and religious nonprofits are exempted from the law but doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners are not. Even California and NY State that make abortion free do not have laws that personify “abortion on demand” and their exemptions are much more generous.
In Middle America, another state is taking a drastically different course. Ohio, led by moderate Governor John Kasich and a solidly Republican state legislature has steadily enacted an anti-abortion agenda which culminated with a ban on abortions after twenty weeks. Kasich vetoed a fetal heartbeat bill at the same time.
In response to a stunning study on Iceland showing down syndrome has been eliminated not through acceptance or in-vitro fertilization but rather through abortions of prospective parents of children with down syndrome an Ohio State Senator is promoting a bill to ban abortions based on down syndrome.
First introduced in 2015 the idea has been resurrected in the face of actions by states like Oregon and NY State. The Ohio Senate Health, Human Services, and Medicaid Committee heard proponent testimony for the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (S.B. 164) on August 22nd, 2017 and the bill is likely to fly out of committee.
In the face of medical advances leading to eugenics Ohio Right to Life President Michael Gonidakis said, “The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act is a crucial step in creating a society that is inclusive of people who are different, no matter how many chromosomes they have. This legislation is an important part of protecting those most vulnerable from discrimination based on their genetic makeup. We are so thankful for the advocates, families, and medical professionals who came out to stand up for unborn babies with Down syndrome.”
Right to Life is not the only supporter of the bill. Medical professionals Dr. Dennis Sullivan and Kelly Kuhns both testified in support of the bill. Sullivan, a Bioethics expert at Cedarville University said such a law is necessary to protect society’s most vulnerable from the unintended consequences of technological advancement.
Most glaringly, while progressives argue limiting women’s access to abortion is discriminatory the same argument is used in favor of banning Down syndrome based abortions. “Down syndrome isn’t fatal, but discriminatory abortions that target those who have it are. Ohio has the chance to lead the nation and create a society where people with Down syndrome are included, accepted, and loved.” Abortion has to be one of the most tragic forms of discrimination we can imagine,” said Gonidakis. “None of us are perfect, yet babies with disabilities continue to be targeted for elimination based on the notion that some babies are simply better than others. We are all created equal and should be protected as intrinsically valuable members of our one human family.”
As mentioned before, the legislation comes in response to studies showing an untold number of children are aborted who have Down syndrome. Shockingly, in Denmark, 98 percent of babies with a positive diagnosis are aborted and in Iceland the number is almost 100 percent . Last year, a French court banned a pro-life commercial featuring smiling children with Down syndrome on the basis that it could “disturb the conscience” of women who had aborted their unborn children.
In an era of intense polarization and social/ideological schisms such maneuvers by elected officials and advocates are inevitable. But the ideological debate going on today is only surface level. Below lurk the dangers of eugenics and the warnings many bioethics experts have been telling for years with rapid advancements in medical technology.
Welcome to America 2017!