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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: August 29, 2017 03:46 PM
From: Senator Scott Martin
To: All Senate members
Subject: Resolution Condemning Aborting Children With Down Syndrome
Soon I will introduce a resolution condemning the practice of selectively aborting a baby with Down syndrome in an effort to reduce or eliminate the diagnosis from society.

A recent CBS report celebrated a nearly 100 percent abortion rate in Iceland in an effort to eliminate Down syndrome but doctors are not eliminating the disease, they are eliminating people. This sounds much like the rhetoric of Americans in the early 1900’s with the creation of the Eugenics Record Office and the Nazis in the 1930’s. Since the expanded use of eugenics in Nazi Germany, the practice has been widely condemned.

While there are varying viewpoints on abortion and what constitutes life, there is no question that a person with Down syndrome has the potential to lead a joyful and fulfilling life. The notion that a child with Down Syndrome is better off unborn, is disproved every day by the hundreds of thousands of individuals currently living with the diagnosis.

If there is any positive to come out of the CBS report on Iceland’s practice, it is the surge of stories describing the vibrant lives of people currently living with Down syndrome. Charlotte, a 21-year old living with Down syndrome and autism in England was delighted to share in a recent interview how happy she is. She has a job working as a golf coach and spends time with her boyfriend. Just this past week, Climbing Magazine reported that 32-year old Andrew Harris, who likes to be called, “Bob” or “Ducky”, became the first person with Down syndrome to climb the 13,776’ peak of Grand Teton National Park.

I am also proud to know my friend, Kyle. Kyle is in his thirties, has worked hard his entire life and is currently employed full-time at The Home Depot. Individuals like Kyle, Charlotte and Bob are capable of leading amazing and fulfilling lives and to say otherwise is unconscionable.

Pennsylvania made great progress with the passage of Act 130 of 2014, known as Chloe’s Law but the abortion rate in America for children with Down syndrome is still too high. According to some studies, the rate is as high as 90 percent. I ask my colleagues to join me in continuing to take a stand against the reprehensible practice of aborting these extraordinary children.

Introduced as SR174