The Utah legislature has approved a measure to ban aborting babies born with Down Syndrome. The measure is now headed to pro-life Gov. Gary Herbert's desk for his signature.
The state Senate voted 20-6 for the bill last Thursday and the state House approved the bill earlier this month with a 54-15 vote.
House Bill 166 prohibits abortions from taking place should they be motivated "solely because the unborn child had or may have had Down syndrome." The bill will not take effect "unless and until similar bans in other states are upheld by the courts," according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
According to the website Christianheadlines.com, the bill's sponsor, Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, said last month that "in recent years there has been a shocking increase in abortions performed for no other reason than because a prenatal test identified the potential for a trait a parent didn't like. For a society that claims to uphold tolerance and inclusiveness, it appears we still have a long way to go."
Utah's Senate President Stuart Adams (R-Layton) was asked by The Salt Lake Tribune why he thinks the approved bill is good for Utah.
"The blessing of life and the blessing of Down syndrome kids and their simple way of life and the way they look at things, that's a hard question to answer," Adams replied, "and hopefully you just see the value of it," he told the newspaper.
Last week during his monthly televised press conference, Gov. Herbert said: "I'm a pro-life guy, and that's where my biases are."
He called the restriction on Down syndrome-based abortion "somewhat of a message bill."
"If that's the reason that you want to have an abortion," Herbert said, "that's probably not a good reason."
According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, abortion reduces the Down syndrome community in the United States by 30 percent.
LifeSite News reports it has been estimated that 90 percent of babies in Great Britain to receive a Down syndrome diagnosis are aborted, 65 percent in Norway, virtually 100 percent in Iceland, and 95 percent in Spain.
"A Down Syndrome diagnosis shouldn't be a death sentence," Pro-Life Utah said in support of the bill. "Selective abortion, for any reason, is the very definition of eugenics. History warns us that this is a very dangerous road to take. Utah needs to draw a defining line in the sand and declare loudly to the world, 'We will not go there!'"