Noem announced the proposal on Twitter Jan. 22, the 48th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which effectively legalized abortion nationwide.
“I look forward to the day when the Supreme Court recognizes that all preborn children inherently possess a right to life,” said Noem, a Republican.
“The Declaration of Independence summarizes what we all know in our hearts to be true: God created each of us and endowed all of us with the right to life,” she said. “This is true for everyone, including those with an extra chromosome.”
Down syndrome is said to be the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder and the leading cause of intellectual and developmental delay. Its cause is unknown.
“Every human being, regardless of their characteristics and capabilities, possesses inherent dignity and worth. Every unborn person, including those diagnosed with Down syndrome, is an irreplaceable gift. Gov. Noem is rightly working to protect these unborn boys and girls from lethal discrimination,” said Melanie Israel, a research associate in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.
There hasn’t been any serious opposition to the legislation, according to Ian Fury, communications director for Noem. Democrats in the state have mainly argued that the legislation may be “redundant,” he said.
According to an August 2017 report by CBS News, 67% of pregnancies in the United States in which prenatal tests detect Down syndrome are aborted.
In some European countries, termination of pregnancies where Down syndrome has been diagnosed is higher than 90%. In 2015, 98% of women who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancies in Denmark. Likewise, in Iceland, close to 100% of women that received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated the pregnancy.
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