Ohio Right to Life Advances Down Syndrome Legal Protections at Statehouse
Pro-Life Advocates and medical professionals testify on behalf of Ohio’s Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jamieson Weaver
DATE: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 PHONE: 614-547-0099 ext. 304
COLUMBUS, Ohio—Today, Ohio Right to Life advocated on behalf of S.B. 164, the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act. Parent advocates, medical professionals and others joined Ohio Right to Life with supporting testimony in favor of this important legislation in front of the Senate Health, Human Services, and Medicaid Committee.
“The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act is a crucial step in creating a society that is inclusive of people who are different, no matter how many chromosomes they have,” said Michael Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “This legislation is an important part of protecting those most vulnerable from discrimination based on their genetic makeup. We are so thankful for the advocates, families, and medical professionals who came out to stand up for unborn babies with Down syndrome.”
The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act seeks to prohibit abortions that are committed for the sole reason of a Down syndrome diagnosis. In addition to Jessica Koehler of Ohio Right to Life, four parent advocates testified on behalf of this legislation, along with two medical professionals, Dr. Dennis Sullivan, Director of the Center for Bioethics at Cedarville University, and Kelly Kuhns, RN, BSN, a labor and delivery nurse.
“With the recent CBS News report about ‘eradicating Down syndrome,’ this bill has never been more relevant,” said Gonidakis. “Down syndrome isn’t fatal, but discriminatory abortions that target those who have it are. Ohio has the chance to lead the nation and create a society where people with Down syndrome are included, accepted, and loved.”
The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act is sponsored by Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) and co-sponsored by Senators Kris Jordan, Peggy Lehner, Joe Uecker, and Matt Huffman.
Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 45 chapters and local affiliates, is Ohio’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death.