Contact: Jim Quick
[email protected] - 704-796-3882
For Immediate Release
“The North Carolina Values Coalition is backing this bill because every child should have the chance to live a full, happy life. We hope that North Carolina will join the leading edge of states enacting protections against the discrimination of unborn children,”
- Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director at NC Value Coalition
We Do Not Condone Actions to Eradicate Individuals with Down syndrome.
Primary Sponsors: Rep Pat McElraft (Carteret & Jones); Rep. John Bradford (Mecklenburg); Rep. Kristin Baker, M.D. (Cabarrus); Rep. Dean Arp (Union)
The Human Life Non-Discrimination Act (HB453) prohibits abortions based on race and/or the prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. “All babies−born and unborn− have intrinsic dignity and worth and should be protected from the practice of eugenic abortion in North Carolina,” according to Primary Bill Sponsor, Representative Pat McElraft.
In doctors’ offices across the state, parents are relying on noninvasive prenatal screening tests that can provide inaccurate results more than 50 percent of the time during the first trimester. According to a recent New England Journal of Medicine study, “A mother’s DNA can alter test results, leading parents — and even their doctors — to believe their babies have major disorders when they are, in fact, healthy. Women facing a positive result from a screen that promises “accurate results, the first time” could have up to a 60 percent chance of a healthy baby.
The study at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington found Down syndrome prenatal screening used during the first trimester as a risk assessment, should not be relied upon as a diagnostic because these results can be up inaccurate.
“Children shouldn’t have to pass a genetic test to earn the right to be born” according to Representative John Bradford.“ Today, it is estimated that 70 percent of all babies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are aborted.”
No one deserves to be discriminated against because of his or her race or disability. This is especially true of unborn children who are being marked for death just because someone has determined that they are the wrong race or have the potential or confirmed diagnosis of Down syndrome.
“If we truly want to eradicate discrimination predicated on race or disability, we must ensure that this protection begins in the womb,” said Rep. Dean Arp. A Marist Poll earlier this year found that 70 percent of Americans living in the South — including 56 percent of those who consider themselves to be pro-choice, 59 percent of Democrats, and 70 percent of Independents — oppose abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Representative Kristin Baker added, “We do not condone actions to eradicate individuals with Down syndrome. Many miracles have been missed---it is time to stop the practice of eugenic abortion, which is the ultimate tool of discrimination.”
“The North Carolina Values Coalition is backing this bill because every child should have the chance to live a full, happy life. We hope that North Carolina will join the leading edge of states enacting protections against the discrimination of unborn children,” according to Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director at NC Values Coalition.
- 6 states have laws prohibiting abortions motivated by the race of the child (AZ, IN, KY, MS, MO, and TN).
- 14 states, including North Carolina, have laws prohibiting sex-selective abortions (AZ, AR, IL, IN, KS, KY, MS, MO, NC, ND, OK, PA, SD, and TN).
- 9 states have prohibited abortions motivated by a child’s disability (AR, IN, KY, LA, MS, MO, ND, OH, and TN).
- The population of people with Down syndrome in the U.S. is estimated to be over 400,000
- The 1964 Civil Rights Act and the laws of North Carolina protect against discrimination on the basis of race and disability.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act and numerous state laws prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of a “real or perceived physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities”. The ADA also states that it is illegal to “violently harm” a person because of a variety of protected traits, including Down syndrome.
- The Human Life Non-Discrimination Act enshrines this protection for people who have yet to be born.
- This bill is part of a package of pro life bills being filed in the North Carolina House and Senate.
For an interview with a bill sponsor or representative from NC Values Coalition, please contact Jim Quick phone/text 704-796-3882 or [email protected]
Jim Quick, Public Affairs Director at NC Values Coalition