This summer marks the 10th anniversary of “Chloe’s Law,” a landmark act in Pennsylvania that ensures parents of preborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome receive the information and resources they need to raise their child.

The law receives its name from Chloe Kondrich, a Pittsburgh native whose parents were unaware of her condition until the moment she was born and realized more should be done to help inform others about what having Down syndrome looks like. Chloe has become a symbol of advocacy for the Down syndrome community, speaking at national and international events. Her message of “Embrace, Don’t Erase” has been a gift to those with Down syndrome and an example of the joy they provide to the world.

The tragic reality is the majority of babies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are aborted, never getting a chance at life. Chloe’s Law is a way to help reduce those tragic outcomes by providing parents with additional information and resources to help build the confidence they need to care for their child.

While we celebrate Chloe’s Law, more must be done. A diagnosis of Down syndrome is still a life worth living and should never be the sole reason for an elective abortion. That’s why Pennsylvania needs the Down Syndrome Protection Act, to help prevent medical professionals from pressuring families to abort their child upon a diagnosis of possible Down syndrome.

In 2019, the Pennsylvania General Assembly took leadership on this important issue and passed the Down Syndrome Protection Act. Unfortunately, it was vetoed by former Governor Tom Wolf.

One of the many advocates for this legislation is Dr. Karen Gaffney, a worldwide advocate for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities. She came to Harrisburg to headline a rally in the Capitol Rotunda where she gave a very moving speech:

Those of us with Down Syndrome and our families face a very difficult future. We face the possibility of wiping out all of the tremendous progress we have made. Just as we are making so much progress, a whole industry has grown up focused on prenatal screening – screening that would end our lives before we take our first breath. Now that you can test for Down Syndrome before birth, there are many experts in the medical community that say this extra chromosome we carry around is not compatible with life. Not compatible with life? After everything we have done, I would say we are more than compatible. We are what life is all about. Our lives are worth living and our lives are worth learning about.

As we remember the second anniversary of the Dobbs decision and the tenth anniversary of Pennsylvania’s Chloe’s Law, may we be reminded about the need to continue being a voice for the voiceless and an advocate for the most vulnerable – every preborn child, including those with Down syndrome. Every life is a life worth living.