Why more states must prohibit the abortion of babies with disabilities

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In 1990, the United States passed the federal Americans With Disabilities Act.  The Act effectively banned discrimination against disabled Americans in many spheres of life: employment, housing, transportation, etc.  However, the Act’s protections begin at birth, and children diagnosed with “disabling” conditions in utero remain vulnerable to the threat of discriminatory termination in all but two states, where some – not all – preborn children are protected.

In 2013, North Dakota made history by banning the practice of aborting children diagnosed prenatally with genetic abnormalities on the grounds that doing so constitutes discrimination against the disabled.  The state’s law, called thePrenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA, or HB 1305), protects the state’s interest in shielding all members from discrimination on the grounds of sex or genetic abnormality.

Other states have considered similar legislation, but thus far Indiana has been the only state to successfully follow North Dakota in protecting preborn children who are diagnosed prenatally with anomalies.  The Indiana bill, which awaits a gubernatorial signature, also protects preborn children from gender and race discrimination.  These protections are long-overdue in the face of hard evidence that girls and black minorities are especially targeted by the abortion cartel.

Indeed, demanding protection for Americans from discrimination on the grounds of sex or ability is quintessentially American.  The Declaration of Independence, for example, reads that, “all men are created equal”—that is, equal from the moment of conception – not that they must meet certain conditions to achieve equality.  And in case any ambiguous interpretation would result from his stance that all men are created equal, Thomas Jefferson went on to say: “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  America’s founding, after all, was the result of a demand for equal treatment which was denied by England.

As Pro-Life advocate Christopher Dodson told the New York Times in a letter to the editor, laws like North Dakota’s Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act are necessary because withholding protection from the preborn undercuts all of our country’s efforts to appear inclusive and to respect the rights of the disabled.  Failing to prohibit discriminatory abortions, he said, effectively sends all disabled Americans this contradictory message: “Your disability does not make you any less of a person, but it would have been O.K. to kill you in the womb solely because of your disability.”

“We should not be surprised,” Dodson says, “that wrongful discrimination against people with disabilities continues when society says that such people are so much a burden that it would have been acceptable to kill them, if only their disability had been spotted early enough.”  The fight for an end to discrimination is also underway among elderly and ailing individuals with disabilities worldwide.  In Great Britain, for example, anti-discrimination groups Alliance of Pro-Life Students and Not Dead Yet have tirelessly fought legislation that would allow death to be imposed by the medical community upon individuals with disabilities.

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