Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act Advances to House Floor.
COLUMBUS, Ohio--Today, the Ohio House Committee on Community and Family Advancement voted in favor of Ohio Right to Life's Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (H.B. 135), 9-3 with bipartisan support.
The legislation, sponsored by Representatives Sarah LaTourette and David Hall, could make Ohio the first in the nation to prohibit abortions from taking place solely on the basis of a Down syndrome diagnosis. Multiple studies demonstrate that upwards of 90 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Sixteen legislators are co-sponsoring the bill.
"With these committee hearings, Ohioans have had the opportunity to define what kind of state we want to be: one that accommodates difference and protects every person's right to life," said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. "We are tremendously proud of this committee for taking steps towards making Ohio a safer place for every human child, regardless of how many chromosomes they have."
Medical experts and family advocates from across Ohio and the country have testified on behalf of this legislation, while two opponents testified against it. Today, before the committee vote, Dr. Ashley K. Fernandes board trustee of Ohio Right to Life, testified in favor of the legislation. He is a pediatrician and a bioethicist and is the Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children's Hospital.
"It is my duty, and that of any pediatrician, to create a climate of love and support for these families and their children," said Dr. Fernandes. "To show solidarity with them, to be, for what its worth in our brief visits with them, a face of love and hope. You as legislators, whom we have entrusted to codify the shared moral values of our society and state, also have that obligation. Children with Down syndrome are persons worthy of dignity and worthy to be cherished."
The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act now moves to the House floor for a vote. To learn more about Ohio Right to Life's Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act, click here
Ohio Right to Life thanks Representatives Hall and LaTourette for sponsoring this legislation, as well as Ohio's families who joined us in committee over the last month.