Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act Advances in Ohio House
COLUMBUS, Ohio--Today, the Ohio House Committee on Community and Family Advancement heard sponsor testimony on Ohio Right to Life's Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (H.B. 135).
The legislation, sponsored by Representatives Sarah LaTourette and David Hall (pictured to the right), could make Ohio the first in the nation to prohibit abortions from taking place 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.
"Prohibiting discriminatory abortions is a critical step in Ohio's efforts to sow a more empathetic and diverse culture across our state," said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. "Our culture is increasingly accepting of the marginalized members of our communities, as we should be. To refrain from extending this same level of protection and acceptance to our children in the womb would not only be inconsistent--it would be dangerously hypocritical."
Families from around central Ohio joined Ohio Right to Life in the committee hearing in support of the legislation. Ohio Right to Life says that one of the primary goals of this legislation is to educate the public about discriminatory abortions and make the practice even more unconscionable in the public mind.
"I believe that life begins at conception and that abortion is wrong," said Rep. Sarah LaTourette in her testimony. "But regardless of if you agree with me or not, I hope that you can see that this isn't an issue about abortion - it's an issue of discrimination. Discriminating against a person, not allowing them their God-given right to life, simply because they might have Down syndrome."
Ohio Right to Life thanks Representatives Hall and LaTourette for their testimonies, as well as Ohio's families who joined us in committee.
Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 45 chapters and local affiliates, is Ohio's oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death.