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March 25, 2021

Inhofe in the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise: Bill would protect lives of unborn with Down syndrome

As we mark World Down Syndrome Day and celebrate a community vibrant with life, it’s critical to bring to light a prominent problem in America. As prenatal screenings increase in availability and accessibility, more women have the ability to learn whether or not their baby has Down syndrome prior to birth. Sadly, many of these lives are aborted following a diagnosis. Over two-thirds of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted in the United States alone. Some countries, like Iceland, are using abortion to eliminate this population completely.

Back in January, I led 21 of my colleagues in re-introducing a much needed bill to help put an end to the inhuman and heart wrenching practice of discrimination by abortion. The Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act is commonsense legislation that would prevent doctors from performing an abortion with the knowledge that a pregnant woman is seeking an abortion, in whole or in part, on the basis of a belief that her unborn child has Down syndrome. To take away a child’s life because of his or her chromosome count is unthinkable and a blatant violation of anti-discrimination laws.

On February 3, 2021, I tried to provide an opportunity for the Democrat-led Senate to pass this commonsense bill. I will never forget that day. I stood there, on the Senate floor, in shock as I listened to one of my Democratic colleagues object to the passage of my bill, calling it “a pretexual and ideological extreme step” and saying, “as a matter of fact, this bill has nothing to do with protecting people with Down syndrome.” I couldn’t believe the words I was hearing and the radical agenda being exposed before our very eyes.

I continued to push back in our debate, saying:

“… the American people overwhelmingly—70 percent of them—oppose aborting a child on the basis the child will be born with Down syndrome.

That includes 56 percent of people who consider themselves pro-abortion – 56% who support abortion but oppose it on the basis of a Down syndrome diagnosis.

In the United States, over two-thirds of unborn babies who are diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.

Why? Instead of receiving information, resources and support, mothers often report feeling pressured to abort.

Justice Clarence Thomas puts it directly: “I am deeply concerned that for babies with down syndrome, abortion has become a ‘tool of modern day eugenics.’ ”

My bill would protect these innocent lives from systematic discrimination through abortion.

We say we support equality in the U.S., yet countless babies’ lives have been stolen because of their chromosome count.

I am astonished that my colleagues can object to this commonsense bill and that they reject protecting the most vulnerable among us.

To all my friends in the Down syndrome community, I will keep fighting for you, even if my colleagues across the aisle won’t.”

At the conclusion of my remarks, I offered my colleague the opportunity to respond and engage in further dialogue on the legislation. I was met with silence.

The truth is, the Democratic Party is steadily moving in this radical direction—we have seen this progression for some time. However, you don’t need any further proof than the Biden administration. Just take a look at the policies this administration is promoting.  This past week, we held a vote on the nomination of Xavier Becerra to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. Mr. Becerra is widely known for vehemently advocating against pro-life policies while in Congress, and as California Attorney General, trying to force nuns to provide access to birth control and abortion-inducing drugs and pushing for the expansion of access to “abortions by mail” during the pandemic. These are the values and policies of the individual President Biden has chosen to lead HHS.

This isn’t about healthcare. This is about protecting the most vulnerable among us. These are real people, with real futures ahead. All children should be given the chance at life and our friends in the Down syndrome community are no exception. I encourage my Democratic colleagues to join me in fighting for all of the unborn—including those in the Down syndrome community. They deserve protection just like everyone else. They deserve a voice. They deserve someone to stand up for them—before it’s too late.

 


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