Pennsylvania Family Council stands unified with new coalition, elected officials in support of the Down Syndrome Protection Act (House Bill 2050, Senate Bill 1050)
(HARRISBURG, PA – March 12, 2018) – Today, Pennsylvania Family Council will stand with Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, Representative Judy Ward, Senator Scott Martin and families from across the Commonwealth in support of the Down Syndrome Protection Act – House Bill 2050 & Senate Bill 1050; together in solidarity for providing people with Down syndrome full inclusion into Pennsylvania communities, including protection for those given a prenatal diagnosis.
“Whether a child is diagnosed with Down syndrome before or after birth, disability rights start at diagnosis,” says Michael Geer, President of the Pennsylvania Family Council. “All human life should be valued and respected – especially in the womb. And the targeting of babies solely for the possible diagnosis of Down syndrome should not be permitted here in Pennsylvania.”
The Down Syndrome Protection Act would prohibit an abortion of any child solely due to a diagnosis of possible Down syndrome. Estimates show at least 67 percent of families in the United States when given a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome choose to abort the baby. And families right here in Pennsylvania have been pressured by medical professionals to have an abortion when given this diagnosis.
A coalition of allied organizations has launched a new website – ProtectAtDiagnosis.com – offering further education and support for the Down Syndrome Protection Act. Part of the website includes 21 photos and stories of children and adults with Down syndrome in Pennsylvania.
“Each person in these photos is someone we should all respect and value,” says Jeremy Samek of the Pennsylvania Family Council. “No child should be targeted for death because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.”
Under current Pennsylvania law, a woman can obtain an abortion prior to 24 weeks gestational age for any reason if a physician deems it is necessary, except if the woman’s sole reason is to select the sex of the child. This bill would simply expand that exception.
“Just as gender cannot be a reason for abortion, neither should a diagnosis of Down syndrome,” stated Senator Scott Martin.
The proposed Down Syndrome Protection Act would not change existing law which permits a woman to obtain an abortion if there is endangerment to the mother.
“Birth mothers who don’t think they could raise a special needs child have support and we need to ensure they are aware of it,” added Samek, who recently adopted a baby with Down syndrome. “If they still think they can’t do it even with the support, there are people willing to adopt children with special needs, and birth moms who place their child in a loving home are heroes.”
To email your elected officials in support of the Down Syndrome Protection Act, use our Citizen Action Center at tinyurl.com/ValueAll.