Sen. Rounds joins in to introduce Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act

WASHINGTON D.C., – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds joined a number of his colleagues in introducing the Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act, which would prohibit abortion based on an unborn child having Down syndrome.

“Life is a precious gift from God that should be treated with respect and dignity, from the very beginning to the very end,” said Rounds. “Unborn children have a right to life, regardless of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, which is why I’m pleased to join Sen. Inhofe to introduce this legislation.”

As prenatal screenings increase in availability and accessibility, more people learn whether or not their baby has Down syndrome prior to the baby’s birth. Many of these lives are aborted following the diagnosis— over two-thirds of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted in the U.S.. The Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act would enact a federal ban on the performance of an abortion with the knowledge that a pregnant woman is seeking an abortion, in whole or in part, on the basis of belief that her unborn child has Down syndrome. This legislation would not penalize the expectant mother in any way.

Eight states (Indiana, Ohio, North Dakota, Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas and Utah) have enacted legislation to prohibit abortion on the basis of Down syndrome. Courts have enjoined the law in several of the states. Several additional states have introduced similar legislation.

The bill, led by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), is sponsored by Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), James Risch (R-I.D.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). Congressman Ron Estes (KS-04) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Bill Overview

  • Makes it illegal for a doctor to knowingly perform an abortion being sought because the baby has or may have Down syndrome, or, if the doctor does not know whether Down syndrome is a contributing factor, requires the doctor to first ask the mother if she is aware of any test results indicating that the child has Down syndrome and to inform her of prohibitions put in place by the law.
  • Prohibits anyone from forcing a woman to have an abortion because the baby has Down syndrome.
  • Imposes a fine and/or imprisonment of up to five years on those who violate the law, and pulls federal funds under existing federal disability anti-discrimination laws from associated abortion clinics.
  • Protects the mother by barring her from being prosecuted or held liable for any violation of the bill and puts in place guardrails to protect her privacy in all court proceedings.

To read the full text of the bill, click HERE


Categories: National News, Politics & Elections, South Dakota News