If you are a woman, according to Republicans, even in 2015, you have one primary purpose and that is to have children — no matter the burden it will put on your life.
In Ohio, legislators are pushing that theory to its outer limit by wanting to make it illegal to have an abortion, even if the fetus has down syndrome. The bill is likely to pass.
“Because women can undergo prenatal testing to see if their baby will be afflicted with certain diseases and disorders, between 50 and 85 percent of women who discover that their baby might have Down syndrome have chosen an abortion, according to a review of studies conducted between 1995 and 2011. But that number has declined over the years when compared to earlier studies conducted in the 1990s, the review notes.”
Source: Huffington Post
Advocates of the bill call abortion of down syndrome fetuses “discrimination” against people with down syndrome.
“’Choosing to end a person’s life simply because of this diagnosis is discrimination, period,’ state Rep. Sarah LaTourette (R), one of the bill’s sponsors, said in May. ‘I believe that life begins at conception and that abortion is wrong. But regardless of if you agree with me or not, I hope that you can see that this isn’t an issue about abortion — it’s an issue of discrimination. Discriminating against a person, not allowing them their God-given right to life, simply because they might have Down syndrome.’”
While Ohio’s governor, John Kasich, came off as a moderate in the GOP presidential debate because he said he would love a gay child, he has signed some of the most restrictive anti-abortion bills into law that the country has to offer.
While the prognosis for down syndrome children has dramatically improved over the last few decades, many times it still means a lifetime of responsibility and with an average life expectancy of 55, it’s easy to imagine scenarios where parents would outlive their children.
Regardless of the circumstances, forced birth is just that. Republicans use every analogy from slavery to the holocaust to “defend” fetuses, but what are they saying about the women who, without pay, are forced to carry babies to full term? Nothing. Those women are disposable and irrelevant. They should all be expected to drop their lives just because a sperm met an egg. In fact, a 2013 Kasich-signed budget redefined a fetus as “developing from the moment of conception.”
The irony, of course, is that Republicans have no interest in preventing unwanted pregnancies. Their efforts to shut down Planned Parenthood would leave millions of women struggling to buy birth control. Republicans also have no interest in helping with the costs involved in raising a child with down syndrome. Who are the people who are really discriminating?
Featured image via Wikimedia