03.10.21

Daines Introduces Bill to Protect Babies with Down Syndrome

Daines Introduces Bill to Protect Babies with Down Syndrome  

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines introduced a bill to protect babies with Down syndrome from abortion. The bill, the “Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act,” would prevent the selective abortion of babies with Down syndrome. 

“Every human being is born with God-given dignity and potential,” Daines said.“The most endangered human is a Down syndrome baby in the womb. We must protect these precious lives at all costs.” 

 This bill: 

  • 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 full text of the bill, click here.

Daines spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate on the importance of his legislation. To watch the full speech click HERE.

Background:

Ten states (AR, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, ND, OH, TN, UT) 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. While the Supreme Court declined to take up Indiana’s Down syndrome abortion ban in 2019, Justice Thomas made it clear that the Supreme Court has not “decide[d] whether the Constitution requires states to allow eugenic abortions.”