Skip to main content
We may receive compensation from affiliate partners for some links on this site. Read our full Disclosure here.

Utah Committee Passes Bill to Ban Abortions On Babies With Down Syndrome!

Bravo Utah!


This is heartwarming!

Even as the Democrats push into vile late-term abortion (New York) and even post-birth abortion (Virginia — which by the way, is also just called murder), LIFE is fighting back!

A wonderful story out of Utah has just emerged where a new Bill that would ban abortion on babies with Down Syndrome if that is the only reason has passed Committee.

Bravo Utah!

You can read the entire bill here.

The praise came quickly on Twitter:

From local CBS2:

Four-year-old Finn Merkley is a happy, outgoing little boy, a child with Down syndrome whose mother calls him “the glue in our family.”

But she was hurt a medical professional gave her only “negative information” about the kind of life her son would lead when an ultrasound, while she carried Finn, showed the potential for Down syndrome.

She was offered an abortion.

“That was hard because, in one sense, it’s almost telling you that your child is not worth it,” she said, tears in her eyes.

Now, Amber and husband Justin — along with the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation — are supporting a new bill at the State Capitol to ban abortion if a woman seeks it “solely” because her unborn child has or may have Down syndrome. Another part of the measure would give additional information to women about Down syndrome through the Utah Department of Health.

A new bill at the State Capitol would ban abortion if a woman seeks it “solely” because her unborn child has or may have Down syndrome. (Photo: KUTV)

“They deserve to have unbiased information when they receive a diagnosis,” said Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, the bill's sponsor.

The ban on Down syndrome abortions, according to Lisonbee, would only happen if a court ruling supports it; but Utah would apparently not take the lead in litigation, nor shoulder the cost.

Also confirmed by local ABC13.

And from LifeNews:

In an uphill battle to prevent discriminatory abortions, Utah passed a bill this week to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from abortions.

ABC4 News reports the Utah House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 166 on Wednesday night. HB 166, also known as the Down Syndrome Nondiscrimination Abortion Act, would prohibit women from getting abortions after a pregnancy screen indicates that their unborn child has Down syndrome.

The bill includes provisions that specify what Down syndrome is, and require the state Department of Health to create an informational sheet and webpage to inform parents about the disability.

One Utah lawmaker, state Rep. Brady Brammer, said HB 166 makes a critical point. “Message bills do send a message that people count, and in this case, that the unborn children that have disabilities count,” the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

This is not Utah’s first attempt at banning abortions on babies with Down syndrome. Last year, a similar bill made it to the legislature in February, but it was ultimately unsuccessful.

State Rep. Karianne Lisonbee said this year’s bill avoids the constitutional and legal problems that prevented last year’s bill from succeeding. HB 166 includes exceptions for rape, incest and risks to the mother’s life.

When HB 166 was discussed, several speakers urged lawmakers to support the bill, including Lisa Wilson, a woman with Down syndrome. Deseret News reports Wilson said she was happy she was given life.

“I am so grateful that I was blessed that I might live so that I could give and receive joy,” she said.

Utah joins other states in the battle to prohibit discriminatory abortions. States like Indiana, Ohio and North Dakota have led the way in banning abortions on babies with Down syndrome, despite legal battles. Other states are considering measures like the Utah legislation.

The bill also comes at a time when the conversation about Down syndrome has been in the spotlight. Last week, actor Ashton Kutcher shared on his Facebook page a viral video of a man with Down syndrome giving a speech about eugenic discrimination.

The rate of abortions after a Down syndrome diagnosis is about 67 percent in the U.S., according to CBS News. Some put the rate as high as 90 percent, but it is difficult to determine the exact number because the U.S. does not keep detailed statistics about abortion. Some countries, such as Iceland, abort children diagnosed with Down syndrome at a rate of 100 percent.

The Utah bill now goes to the full House for a vote, which should be within the next few days.

Many credit the new defense of babies with Down Syndrome to the Gerber Baby campaign, which featured a baby with Down Syndropme for the first time last year.

Take a look:

Stemming from that campaign, the Daily Caller reports big change:

Gerber Baby company chose a Down syndrome child for the new face of its 2018 campaign in early February, inspiring a number of states to create, push or pass legislation protecting unborn babies who will be born with Down syndrome.

“Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby,” Gerber president Bill Partyka said, announcing Lucas Warren as the 2018 Gerber baby, according to TODAY. “We’re hoping this will impact everyone — that it will shed a little bit of light on the special needs community and help more individuals with special needs be accepted and not limited,” father Jason Warren told the Today Show. (RELATED: Gerber Baby Campaign Marks Historic First With Down Syndrome Cover Child)

Since Lucas took center stage, Down syndrome abortion bans have been introduced in Oklahoma, Missouri, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Utah.

Utah is considering HB205 — the Down Syndrome Nondiscrimination Abortion Act. The bill is intended to send a message of non-discrimination according to the measure’s sponsor, Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, who claims it will prevent eugenic-like tendencies, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Pro-Life Utah group member Kristy Nielsen likened people with Down syndrome to endangered animals, claiming it’s ironic Utah protects animals and plants but won’t do the same when “a targeted people group is in danger of extinction.” (RELATED: Now Utah Is Cutting A Path To Ban Down Syndrome Abortions)

Ohio has adopted House Bill 214, effectively banning doctors from aborting babies who test positive for Down syndrome. The law penalizes doctors who perform abortions on pregnant women with a positive test that their baby will have Down syndrome, but it does not fine or punish a woman who aborts her baby after receiving a positive test for the congenital disorder. Any doctor who performs an abortion on an unborn Down syndrome child will receive a fourth-degree felony charge under the law, the Associated Press reported.


Join the conversation!

Please share your thoughts about this article below. We value your opinions, and would love to see you add to the discussion!

Hey, Noah here!

Wondering where we went?

Read this and bookmark our new site!

See you over there!

Thanks for sharing!