A bill targeting abortion of unborn children diagnosed with Downs Syndrome is making it way through the legislature in Ohio.
Tuesday, a second hearing was held and at least one more is expected before it goes to the senate floor for a vote.
The bill would make it a felony to abort an unborn child if it is diagnosed with Downs Syndrome. Ohio State Senator Frank Larose introduced the bill in June, and had its second committee hearing on Tuesday.
Before the meeting, Larose met Oliver, a toddler with Downs Syndrome.
“Before committee started we were playing peak-a-boo on the floor of the committee hearing room and he’s not made exactly like you and I but his life is valuable,” said Larose.
Larose considers aborting children based on a diagnosis of Downs Syndrome discrimination.
“Saying that their lives are less valuable is something that is very concerning to many of us.”
According to reports, in Iceland, children with Downs Syndrome are nearly non-existent because nearly 100% of them are aborted. The trend of physicians recommending abortion in these circumstances concerns the director of the Center for Bioethics at Cedarville University, Dr. Dennis Sullivan.
“That seems like a form genetic discrimination that is no better than the eugenics of the early 20th century,” Dr. Sullivan said.
Pro-choice advocates like NARAL view the bill another way.
“This bill is interference in a medical decision following a complicated diagnosis. Politicians like Frank Larose think that they should get to make the decision for women. We trust women to make the best decisions for themselves and for their families,” said Gabriel Mann, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.
At least one more hearing on this bill would have to happen before the committee votes to send it to the senate floor.
Larose hopes to have that hearing this fall.