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Friday, September 26, 2008

House OKs Bill to Reduce Abortions on Down Syndrome Babies, Heads to Bush

by Steven Editor

September 25, 2008
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Washington, DC ( -- After recent Senate passage, the House of Representatives on Thursday approved legislation to help reduce the number of abortions on babies who have Down syndrome or other conditions. The legislation is headed to President Bush, who is expected to sign it into law.
Senator Sam Brownback, the lead sponsor of S 1810 in the Senate, told he's elated by the news.
“Passage of this bipartisan bill in both the Senate and House is a great victory for expecting parents who learn that their unborn child may be born with a disability,” he said.
“Currently, 90 percent of children prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted, and that percentage is similar for children prenatally diagnosed with other conditions such as spina bifida and cystic fibrosis," Brownback explained. "These numbers are much too high and suggest that we as a society are not doing everything we can to protect every human life, at every stage.”

S.1810 now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law, and Bush is expected to do so soon.

Pro-life advocates have been worried about the high percentage of abortions as doctors leave parents with few options when confronted with a disabled unborn child.

The legislation would require giving families who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other condition, prenatally or up until a year after birth, pertinent helpful information.

The information would include facts about the condition and connections to support services and networks that could offer assistance in raising a disabled child.

The plight of Down syndrome babies has received significant attention thanks to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate, who gave birth to a baby with the condition earlier this year.

The Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act would provide for the expansion and further development of a national clearinghouse on information for parents of children with disabilities, so that the clearinghouse would be better equipped to assist parents whose children have recently been pre- or post-natally diagnosed.

The bill also provides for the expansion and further development of national and local peer-support programs. The bill also calls for the creation of a national registry of families willing to adopt children with pre- or post-natally diagnosed conditions.

In a rare show of bipartisan support, Brownback is working with pro-abortion Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts on the bill.

“It is difficult, sometimes overwhelming, for expecting parents to receive news that their unborn child may be born with a disability,” Brownback said.

“This legislation will help parents receiving such news by supplying them with current and reliable information about the many options available for caring for children with disabilities," he added.

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