Rep. Estes Reintroduces the Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act

Washington, January 20, 2023 | Roman Rodriguez (316-262-8992)

WASHINGTON – Today as more than 100,000 Americans gather in Washington, D.C. to honor life, Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kansas) announced the reintroduction of the Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act. This bill honors the rights of individuals with Down syndrome by federally banning doctors from knowingly performing an abortion because a baby received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

"Having one more chromosome should never be validation for ending life, and the Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act protects individuals with disabilities," said Rep. Estes. "This is common sense legislation that will save precious lives."

The legislation also prohibits anyone from forcing a woman to have an abortion because the baby has Down syndrome. Violators can face a fine, imprisonment of up to five years, or both. Mothers are barred from being prosecuted or held liable for any violation, ensuring responsibility to follow the legislation is on the doctors performing an abortion.

The 2023 Marist Poll found recently found that "A majority of Americans, — 60% — are opposed to abortion if the child will be born with Down syndrome."

The Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act earned support in both chambers of Congress. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) will introduce a companion bill in the Senate next week.

"Every life is created with God-given dignity and potential—no matter how small or how many chromosomes they may have,” Sen. Daines said. “We are making great strides to build a culture of life in America but there is more work to be done. Now more than ever it’s critical we continue our fight on the federal level to be a voice for the most vulnerable and protect young moms from the dangers of do-it-yourself chemical abortions."

Tragically, babies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome face an abortion rate of 67% in the United States. So far, eight states have enacted legislation to prohibit abortion on the basis of a Down syndrome diagnosis.

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