Pennsylvania's Democratic governor has vetoed a bill that was created to protect babies from abortion after they've been diagnosed in the womb with Down syndrome.
Gov. Tom Wolf had said he would reject the bill if it made it to his desk, and that's just what he did.
Pennsylvania state law allows for abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy for any reason, except in cases where it is used for gender selection. In other words, a mother can't abort her baby just because he's a boy when she really wanted a girl.
This new bill would have also prevented the eugenic targeting of a specific population of people, protecting individuals with Down syndrome from selective elimination.
Republicans who control the state Senate said it would've protected a "vulnerable population whose lives are productive."
Supporters of the measure believe it's essential because other countries have expressly targeted people with Down syndrome for elimination. For example, in Iceland, nearly 100% of babies with the syndrome are aborted, and in Denmark, that figure stands at roughly 98%. In the US, an estimated 67% of children with the condition are aborted.
The Pennsylvania Family Council stated, "Children are being targeted for abortion simply because they may have Down syndrome. Medical professionals are pressuring women and families to have an abortion upon a diagnosis of Down syndrome. And tragically, the vast majority of babies that are diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted after the diagnosis. A diagnosis of Down syndrome should never be a reason to terminate a child. Down syndrome is a life worth living."
Earlier this year, President Trump summed up what's at stake in the battle to protect the lives of unborn children with this condition.
"Sadly, there remain too many people – both in the United States and throughout the world – that still see Down syndrome as an excuse to ignore or discard human life. This sentiment is and will always be tragically misguided," he wrote. "We must always be vigilant in defending and promoting the unique and special gifts of all citizens in need. We should not tolerate any discrimination against them, as all people have inherent dignity."
The Pennsylvania Family Council has created a powerful photo series that gives nearly 30 examples of Pennsylvania residents with Down syndrome who are enjoying life and contributing in many ways to our world. Click here to see their smiling faces.