WV Senate Passes Protections for Unborn Children With Down Syndrome Against Discrimination Abortions

Contact: Mary Owens, [email protected] 

6th Circuit Will Consider Similar TN Law After SCOTUS Decision in Dobbs Case

Washington, D.C. – Today the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) celebrated the West Virginia Senate’s passage of the Unborn Child with Down Syndrome Protection and Education Act (S.B. 468). Authored by State Sen. Patricia Rucker (R-16), the legislation prohibits discriminatory abortions and requires health care practitioners to provide up-to-date, evidence-based educational information to parents of a child newly diagnosed with a disability such as Down syndrome. The bill passed by a 28-5 vote and now heads to the House of Delegates. 

SBA List State Policy Director Sue Liebel praised West Virginia lawmakers, saying:

“We thank the West Virginia Senate for taking action to protect unborn children from lethal discrimination. Research shows 99% of people with Down syndrome lead happy lives, yet more than two-thirds of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the U.S. are aborted. This modern-day eugenics is starkly at odds with foundational American values like equality and unalienable rights. West Virginians agree no child should be targeted for discrimination and Down syndrome should never be a death sentence. Like the majority of Americans, they want rein in our extreme national policy of abortion on demand until birth.

“We are proud of Sen. Patricia Rucker, a member of our National Pro-Life Caucus, and all our pro-life allies in the Mountain State for leading the charge to save lives. We urge the legislature to send this bill swiftly to Gov. Justice. As we await a decision in the Dobbs Supreme Court case, we hope the people and their elected representatives in every state will soon have the chance to modernize our laws.”

Last month the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a Tennessee law, signed by Governor Bill Lee, that prohibits discriminatory abortions based on sex, race or prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome to go into effect while litigation continues. The court further stated that it would wait to hear the case until after the U.S. Supreme Court issues a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In 2021 the 6th Circuit upheld Ohio’s Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act, signed into law in 2017. Previously in 2018, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a similar prohibition on discrimination abortion in Indiana.

In the Dobbs case, the Supreme Court has said it will address whether all pre-viability abortion limits are unconstitutional. The Court heard oral arguments in the case on December 1, 2021, and a decision is expected by the summer of 2022.

SBA List is a network of 900,000 pro-life Americans nationwide, dedicated to ending abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders. 



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