The Washington Post managed to offend conservatives, the entire Pro-Life movement, and the Down syndrome and special needs community all at once with an opinion piece they ran a few days ago by Ruth Marcus.
Marcus, who serves as the Post’s deputy editorial page editor, penned the following headline: “I Would’ve Aborted a Fetus with Down Syndrome. Women Need That Right.”
With states stepping up to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome, and Gerber making a historic choice by choosing a new Gerber baby with Down syndrome, Marcus felt she needed to speak out against the new wave of anti-abortion laws.
Marcus proclaimed that she would have gone ahead with a second-trimester abortion without hesitation had she found out that her baby had Down syndrome. According to Marcus, she would have “grieved the loss and moved on.” She claimed that women should not be compelled to give birth to children who would have an impaired intellectual capacity – that was not the type of child she wanted. She justified her position by noting she was not alone, since over two-thirds of American women choose to abort their baby if Down syndrome is detected, and American women aren’t alone. CBS ran the report that Iceland has nearly eradicated Down syndrome. How? By aborting nearly 100% of babies that receive a positive test for the chromosome disorder.
It has been these astonishing reports of the near eradication of Down syndrome that have lead state legislators in certain states to introduce bills to protect these babies. North Dakota, Louisiana, Ohio, and Indiana have all passed bills designed to keep mothers from abort babies solely because they have Down syndrome.
Utah was the latest state to step up, with the Utah House passing a bill in February 2018 to make it a crime to perform abortion if women are seeking it “solely” because the baby has Down syndrome. Karianne Lisonbee, the Republican state representative who introduced the bill in Utah, spoke about why she believed this bill is important, saying “…If we don’t take a stand from the start against the selective purging of one portion of our society, will we continue our silence when the next undesirable segment is purged?”
Mississippi has also taken a big stand for the unborn, just recently passing what will probably be the most restrictive abortion law in the country, making all abortions illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The Mississippi House voted for the measure 75-34 in favor, and the governor of the state, Gov. Phil Bryant, already stated that he will sign the bill into law. The country needs more laws like this one in Mississippi, and ultimately, the goal should be to ban abortion at a federal level to offer protection to the unborn. The reality is that whether a baby has Down syndrome, another type of disability, or is perfectly normal, that life is precious – it should not be a choice.
Although these bills designed to protect the innocent definitely send a message to the liberal, pro-choice movement, do they do enough to protect unborn children? Liberal critics say these bills are unconstitutional and inconsistent with the Roe v. Wade ruling, which was reaffirmed in 1992, giving women the liberty to have at least some freedom to terminate a pregnancy. Even Republican supporters of the bill concede that these new bills send a great message, yet there’s not a feasible way to enforce the bills, since abortions are such a private thing.
While it’s great that some states are stepping up to end this unthinkable form of discrimination against babies with Down syndrome, these bills are not enough. It’s a tragedy to think that over 66% of babies with Down syndrome in the United States are aborted, but the conservative and pro-life movement must look at the bigger picture.
In 2014 alone, the CDC reported that there were 652,639 legal induced abortions reported in the United States. Those numbers show that while taking measures to protect the unborn with Down syndrome is undoubtedly important and these bills are an important declaration that conservatives will not stand for selective purging, there’s a lot more work to do. Bills need to be introduced that protect all babies – the most vulnerable among us who do not yet have a voice.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter