Oklahoma senators introduce bill to ban Down syndrome abortion

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Oklahoma Senators James Lankford (left) and Jim Inhofe (right)

A bill has been proposed to ban abortions performed because the unborn child is believed to suffer from Down syndrome.

Oklahoma senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe have introduced the Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act, which would put a federal ban on the termination of pregnancies for that reason.

“If you’ve ever met someone or have a family member with Down syndrome, you know they are joyous, wonderful people who deserve as much out of life as any other person,” said Lankford. “I am honored to join Senator Inhofe in cosponsoring the Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act to protect children in the womb who are diagnosed with Down syndrome.”

Eight states (IN, OH, ND, LA, KY, MO, AR, UT) have enacted legislation to prohibit abortion on the basis of Down syndrome. Several additional states have introduced similar legislation.

While the Supreme Court recently declined to take up Indiana’s Down syndrome abortion ban, Justice Clarence Thomas made it clear that the Supreme Court has not “decide[d] whether the Constitution requires States to allow eugenic abortions.”

“Every life has value and that extends to the unborn,” Inhofe said. “To take away the precious life of an unborn baby is murder, but to deny a child the chance at life because of his or her chromosome count is a heinous effort to eliminate a vibrant community through abortion. That’s why I am introducing a bill to prohibit abortion based on a Down syndrome diagnosis.”

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