Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky joined with the ACLU to sue the state of Indiana over a recent law passed to prohibit abortions based only on the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability, including Down Syndrome.
Claiming that the bill places an undue burden on women seeking an abortion and violates patients’ privacy rights, Planned Parenthood is once again challenging a common-sense state law intended to protect the health and safety of women and children. Why? Because abortion is how Planned Parenthood makes money, even if that means standing up for the targeted and systematic elimination of innocent children with disabilities like Down Syndrome.
In a statement after signing the bill into law, Gov. Mike Pence said,
I believe that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable—the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn. HEA 1337 will ensure the dignified final treatment of the unborn and prohibits abortions that are based only on the unborn child's sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability, including Down syndrome.
Some of my most precious moments as Governor have been with families of children with disabilities, especially those raising children with Down syndrome. These Hoosiers never fail to inspire me with their compassion and these special children never fail to move me with their love and joy.
By enacting this legislation, we take an important step in protecting the unborn, while still providing an exception for the life of the mother. I sign this legislation with a prayer that God would continue to bless these precious children, mothers and families.
I’m proud of Governor Pence and the representatives in Indiana. When he talks about families of children with disabilities, he’s talking about families like mine.
My sister, Mary Rose, was born in the late summer of 1989, exactly six weeks before I turned three. Months after she was born, it became clear that Mary was special – different from normal babies. While the diagnoses, tests, and many in the world would assess that Mary is ‘mildly to moderately retarded,’ ‘developmentally delayed/disabled,’ or ‘slower than normal kids,’ it is clear to anyone who encounters Mary that she was a gift from God, placed on earth to teach us all the true definition of unconditional love.
Although Mary doesn’t have Down Syndrome, many of her closest friends do. Others, including Mary, have similar genetic abnormalities that cause developmental delays. Although national research isn’t comprehensive, many studies reveal that somewhere between 80 and 95% of unborn babies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome are aborted.
More than 4 in 5 unborn babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are killed simply because they have an extra chromosome. These children are never given the chance to show the world just how much potential they have.
Some mothers who are pressured to abort their child with Down Syndrome have refused, and the hearts of their communities are forever changed once their child is born.
But more often than not, those lives are lost forever. My heart breaks every time I hear these statistics because I know just how incredible these children are. I’m an example of a life forever changed because of their lives. I know from first-hand experience just how much the world is losing every time a child is aborted because they have a disability.
Mary is the perfect example of this. Though not being academically “smart,” she’s more insightful and emotionally intuitive than most people I know. Though Mary may never discover a world-changing innovation, she is never forgotten by all who encounter her. Mary has a zest for life rooted in her ability to appreciate every person and opportunity that comes her way, and her inability to focus on tedious, superfluous details. She reminds us all of the childlike faith we once had.
Mary and her extraordinary friends have shaped the man I am today. Because of Mary, I always speak up for the underdog, squirming when I feel someone is unrightfully judging me or someone else. Because of Mary, I try to look past first judgments and impressions, and empathize with people I meet and situations I encounter. Because of Mary, I thirst for justice and appreciation of all human beings, no matter how diverse or different. Because of Mary, I recognize the incredible ways that the Lord uses His children whom the world labels as “slow”, “useless”, or “not viable” to show us His unfailing and unconditional love.
And because of Mary, I’m thankful for Gov. Pence and other leaders around the country who fight for laws to protect those with disabilities – to give them protection under the law.
When Planned Parenthood and its abortion allies sue to stop these laws, we all must realize they’re suing to end lives like those of Mary and her friends.
They think they’re on the right side of history. I wish they’d meet Mary so they know how very wrong they are.
Update 5/9/2016: The ACLJ's pro-life litigation team is preparing a critical amicus brief to defend Indiana's pro-life law recognizing the God-given human dignity of every human being, no matter their race, gender, or disability. While big abortion continues its attempts to challenge these laws in court, we will continue to defend the young, vulnerable lives that can't defend themselves.
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