Ohio Likely to Ban Abortion of Fetuses Diagnosed With Down Syndrome

Since such bans are largely unenforceable, the measure is more mechanism for pro-life political signaling than anything else.



The Ohio legislature is likely to pass a law banning potential parents from choosing to abort a fetus that will be born with Down Syndrome, according to The New York Times. "The legislature is expected to approve the measure this fall because lawmakers endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee, which supports the bill, make up more than two-thirds of both houses," the Times reports. 

A review of data on abortion rates following "definitive prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome" from 1995-2011 found the "mean termination rate was 67%… among seven population-based studies, 85% … among nine hospital-based studies, and 50%… among eight anomaly-based studies. Evidence suggests that termination rates have decreased in recent years." 

State laws banning abortion based on specific motivation are not common, the Times notes. And in the few that have passed them—North Dakota, where it's illegal to abort based on fetal genetic anomalies (like Down Syndrome); Arizona, where doctor's can't peform abortions if the reaon is the "sex or race of the child, or the race of a parent of that child"—there's no evidence they're being enforced. 

This is, at least in part, a matter of logistics: there's no requirement for women seeking an abortion to provide a reason why they wish to terminate their pregnancies. Thus laws like the one Ohio is trying to pass—which would prohibit doctors from performing abortions if fetal Down syndrome diagnosis is the stated reason—or the gender selective abortion bans passed by states such Arizona, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania, are more or less just another mechanism for pro-life political signaling (everyone's favorite election-season sport!). 

From the Times

Advocates are not aware of enforcement of any such laws in the states that have them. "They're trying to encroach on the right to abortion, step by step, and turn a woman's health care decision into an issue of discrimination against the fetus," said Sara Ainsworth, the director of legal advocacy at the National Advocates for Pregnant Women. "I can't imagine how any of these laws would be enforceable."

There have been no prosecutions under the 2013 North Dakota law, advocates on both sides say. Nor has the law changed anything at the state's only abortion provider, the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo, said Tammi Kromenaker, its director.

David Perry, a freelance writer and father of a son with Down Syndrome, accused Ohio Republicans of using children like his son as "a wedge issue." A "blanket ban isn't going to help at all, but even if it's enforced somehow, it could just lead women to lie about the reasons they aborted, or make Down syndrome code for poverty, when only poor people are forced to give birth after a diagnosis," writes Perry. He argues that "the best way to get people to choose to carry a fetus with Down syndrome to term is to make the words 'Down syndrome' less scary" and "get to work building a more inclusive society." But, "that's hard. It's not politically useful. So instead, we've got bills like HB 131 in Ohio." 

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  1. ABORTIOONNNN!!!!!!!

    1. “Taxpayer funded abortion uber alles!”
      -Elizabeth Nolan Brown

  2. Stupid is a stupid does.

  3. Oh boy….

    1. Yep. I’ve got a business meeting to attend now. I’ll check this thread in a couple hours.

      Have fun everybody. Play nice!

      1. Oh, no you don’t!

        Get back in here!

    2. I’m still at the office. Drinking now would get me into trouble.

      I’m going to skip this thread.

  4. Finally, an abortion thread

    1. And right after Trump thread. I guess you could say that ENB…

      …trumped Jesse.

      1. I’d say that she prematurely ended the Trump discussion.

    2. That shouldn’t have made me laugh, but laugh I did….right out loud.

  5. What *I* want to know is, if Megyn Kelly waited 20 weeks to put herself and her Down Syndrome baby into a life and death struggle where only one of them can win, who’s the bigger more out-of-touch asshole; Scott Walker or John Kasich?

    1. Donald Trump, of course.

  6. On the H&R home page – I like how the Cartman pic from the Trump article appears to be scowling up at the abortion article

  7. And here we have the perfect symbol of the pro-life anti-choice movement as well as its end game: forcing retarded offspring on parents. Disgusting. They are sacrificing real people (the would-be mothers) for something not more human than a dog. A retarded, aneuploidy-ridden dog.

    1. ” A retarded, aneuploidy-ridden dog.”


    2. BOOM

      goes the thread

    3. No one has a right to choose that another human is life undeserving of life.

      1. Except Hitler

      2. Except when the government hands that power to twelve people they’ve randomly summoned.

      3. What does deserving have to do with it? The question with abortion isn’t whether the potential person in there deserves to live. It’s about a person’s right to control their own life and body and what goes on in it.

    4. for something not more human than a dog

      If there is one thing the pro and anti-abortion crowds can agree on, it is that you are a real, no-kidding sociopath.

      1. The funny thing is he almost sounds like someone with Asperger’s, and yet he wants mentally handicapped fetuses aborted…

    5. I’m going out on a limb here and guessing you have never once met a person with Down Syndrome ever in your entire life.

      1. He’s met several. Sometimes his dog still digs up their bones when playing in his backyard.

        1. Retarded dog…

          But seriously, Cytotoxic doesn’t have the subtlety or charm necessary to gain people’s trust

    6. They are sacrificing real people (the would-be mothers) for something not more human than a dog. A retarded, aneuploidy-ridden dog.

      I like your ability to take a thread and make even the people who agree with you hate you.

    7. Forcing retarded offspring on parents.

      As Cytotoxic’s mom has regularly pointed out, this was a terrible thing to do to her.

      1. Is the State going to provide for the unwanted children?

    8. This response is why there are so few women around here.

      1. In fairness, everyone hates Cytotoxic for his support of outright baby-murder so it isn’t as if this is a common view on H&R.

        1. No, I think he’s saying that most women have Down’s. Which is not my experience. He might be on the wrong section of Tindr.

          1. Or, since it is Cyto, he’s probably right section of Tindr.

          2. Your homoerotic porn probably doesn’t help either Sugarfree.

            You got any more???

            1. They get mad when I put up porn in abortion threads. Some nonsense about “eroticizing the D&C.”

      2. “This response is why there are so few women around here.”
        My only concern would be that he might knock someone up who doesn’t know what he’s like. But judging from his personality, I don’t think there’s much chance of that.

        1. “By the gods! What is that noise?”

          “It’s the sound of a million Canadian vaginas slamming shut all at once.”

          1. *stands to applaud and throw garlands*

    9. I’m sure your pro-eugenics screed sounds better in the original German.

    10. Nice one, Cyto. I think you just earned your place in the annals of H&R awfulness.

  8. I honestly don’t understand at all why pro-lifers would choose a terrible condition with no hope of cure or recovery of any kind for this kind of push. A life sentence for the child, the parents, and anyone unfortunate enough to be a sibling of the child seems like a hard sell.

    1. The argument is that they believe human life is sacred no matter what and it isn’t their right to choose to throw it away. And they draw the line of where it begins at a different place. Hard sell? Yeah, perhaps but sometimes people choose hard paths due to personal belief systems.

      1. I know what they believe. I’m talking about politics.

        1. Speaking strictly politics, I think it is actually a good choice. I have yet to meet a person with Downs that didn’t seem to live a happy and fulfilling life. Granted to my sample size is under 10 and my interactions have been limited, but that is probably true of the vast majority of Americans.

          1. I have yet to meet a person with Downs that didn’t seem to live a happy and fulfilling life.

            Yeah. Because they’re retarded. How are their families doing?

            Mine is in the hospital freaking out over how hard to try to save the life of someone who isn’t really there.

            1. It can be very difficult for families. But I don’t think someone going on TV and saying “I wish my child had never been born” is a winning political message.

              And sorry about your family’s difficult situation.

              1. Thank you.

                But since my grandmother would certainly never be able to send that message, I make sure I do. She and my grandfather wanted to “do the right thing.” They believe(d) they did that. I most certainly do not. It would be sad enough if it had affected only them, but that’s not how these things work.

            2. I have yet to meet a person with Downs that didn’t seem to live a happy and fulfilling life.

              Yeah. Because they’re retarded.

              I agree, only a retard could live a happy and fulfilling lufe.

              1. *life

                I know I’m not retarded, I’m too cynical, so I’m gonna blame the tiny keyboard on my phone for that.

              2. *life

                I know I’m not retarded, I’m too cynical, so I’m gonna blame the tiny keyboard on my phone for that.

            3. Mine is in the hospital freaking out over how hard to try to save the life of someone who isn’t really there.

              My mom had her second heart attack in 2005. They put her into an “induced coma” to allow the heart to heal. I still remember the Tuesday 17 days later when they told my brother (health care Power of Attorney) that he should think about what to do because she “wasn’t responding to treatment” and “her condition was very likely to deteriorate”. (and her words were/are very specific- “I don’t want to live like that- put me down”)

              Mom went home from the hospital exactly three days later. We celebrated her 75th birthday in March where I kicked her butt in Scrabble, but she schooled us all in Bridge- and then she gave lessons to her 3 yr old great-grandson on how to play the ukelele.

              I’m happy she got the chance…

          2. It’s not just Down’s, it’s all abnormalities.

          3. You clearly haven’t had to deal with one that’s frustrated or angry then.

        2. It’s roughly the same as the poster victims for BLM.

        3. There’s no way to distinguish between politics and beliefs/feels for ~85% of the population.

    2. I honestly don’t understand at all why pro-lifers would choose a terrible condition with no hope of cure or recovery of any kind for this kind of push.

      IMO, Down’s Syndrome is the right issue to be having this discussion about. It really is a ‘cusp’ disease with lots of ‘victims’ who are no worse off than an average normal person. Lots/most of the time, it’s not like we’re talking about a variety of muscular dystrophy where the child will suffer a painful life and a premature death.

      What I *would* say is that it’s absolutely ridiculous to say “We must protect those with Down’s Syndrome before 20 weeks.” and leave a perfectly normal fetus to whatever whims until said mark.

      1. It really is a ‘cusp’ disease with lots of ‘victims’ who are no worse off than an average normal person.

        That is definitely not my experience, and I have a lot of it. Down syndrome advocates seem happy to announce that around 40% of them have IQs above 50. That’s pretty fucking rough. And doesn’t get into the physical problems.

        1. They all seem like kids to me. It’s not a good thing, there’s a lot in life they miss out on, but their lives can be as happy as anyone’s. Living as a perpetual child isn’t ideal, but it’s not a life of misery and pain either.

          1. And who has to take care of the perpetual children?

            1. “Government” is just the word for the asses we wipe together.

            2. The family usually with support from the state, or sometimes just the state.

              1. So, there are a few lives of misery and pain, but it’s okay because it’s not the Down syndrome sufferer?

                1. Nobody is enslaved to take care of someone with Down syndrome, they choose to do it in exchange for government money. Kind of like a school teacher.

                  1. Um, I’m enslaved via taxes, as you just helpfully explained.

                    And parents are not the only family members these kids have.

                    1. Yeah I knew you would mention taxes, but if thats the issue then their are far more expensive things to bitch about then care for the mentally handicapped. Like school teachers for example.

                    2. If you’ll just share your entire list of wrongs that are more worthy of complaints than this wrong, I’m sure we can all get on the same page.

                    3. Um, okay. I also have a problem with schoolteachers, aka prison wardens for innocent children. But as it happens the mentally retarded have been a huge expense in my life as well.

                    4. Other then taxes what else are you actually forced to do? If you have a mentally retarded child give them up for adoption, leave them in care of the state.

                    5. Parents aren’t the only family members of mentally retarded people.

                    6. “You’r economic slavery is going to a good cause, citizen. Smile, you fuck.”

            3. And who has to take care of the perpetual children?

              Are we talking about the ones who have a mental handicap, can’t control their own actions and demand we pay for them or the ones with Down’s Syndrome?

            4. And who has to take care of the perpetual children?

              I’m no expert on this subject, but apparently there are a lot of good Christian folk who are actually willing to adopt a “challenging child” as they see it as doing God’s work.

              This of course says nothing about this law.

          2. Also, to be completely clear, many of them know what they miss out on. Many of them spend a lot of time confused, afraid, and frustrated?kind of like children, only forever, and they know they’re not children. And it gets even better when they get early-onset Alzheimer’s, to which they are prone.

            1. They can bag a lot of groceries in between.

              1. I see you also shop at Bi-Lo.

              2. You like a fucking watermelon on top of your bread?!?

                Hey, more power to ya, man.

                1. The developmentally disabled baggers are much more conscientious about that sort of thing because bagging groceries is their

            2. Well we all support assisted suicide here, so if you find one that says they want to be put out of their misery then go ahead end their life.

              Like most of us, no matter how rough life can be at times, they would choose to continue living.

              1. And yet they can’t actually take care of themselves.

                1. Nikki whats your point exactly? Other then this law being stupid, I think we all agree on that.

                  1. Other then this law being stupid, I think we all agree on that.

                    Do we? Eddie doesn’t think so. He’s working himself into a fine lather.

                    1. Even Eddie doesn’t really support the law, he just sees it as a means to an end.

                  2. My point is exactly what I said in the OP:

                    I honestly don’t understand at all why pro-lifers would choose a terrible condition with no hope of cure or recovery of any kind for this kind of push. A life sentence for the child, the parents, and anyone unfortunate enough to be a sibling of the child seems like a hard sell.

                    Everyone is trying to convince me it should be an easy sell because Down’s is not that bad or something. In my experience it’s terrible.

                    1. Well I guess I don’t really disagree with you then. I just don’t think people with Down’s are generally miserable, at least not more then the general population.

                      And I don’t think the law will be an easy sell. It’s really stupid. Protecting the unborn that are going to have a diminished life, while keeping it legal to abort those which will have a normal life. It seems very much backwards.

                2. Like the 50 million Americans on food-stamps?

                  “Some folks just need killin'”.

            3. Also, to be completely clear, many of them know what they miss out on. Many of them spend a lot of time confused, afraid, and frustrated?kind of like children, only forever, and they know they’re not children. And it gets even better when they get early-onset Alzheimer’s, to which they are prone.

              I grew up around a family who had a daughter who could never take care of herself. I’m not entirely unfamiliar.

              Also, I haven’t read the bill, *I’m* not saying that every Down’s baby *has* to be born. However, just like with Walker’s bill, I could see saying, “After n-weeks, we no longer accept condition X as a valid reason to abort.”

              Down’s is pretty easy to forecast genetically and diagnoses pretty accurately pretty early on in the pregnancy. Waiting out until 20-25+ weeks doesn’t make the abortion any more (popular, ) sensible or safe.

        2. I was at the Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies last month. The parade of nations, just getting the athletes seated, took hours and hours.

          It’s really fucking rough.

          1. The people who come up with these laws should have to spend time at an event like the Special Olympics.

            1. It was like herding cats. And everything was color coded.

              1. I volunteer at the Summer Games every year. It’s exhausting, and I usually just do one event like bowling, so I feel safe saying it’s probably much, much worse the everyday caregivers over the course of a life.

              2. I have limited experience with something similar, and herding cats is an appropriate idiom.

    3. It’s God’s will Nikki. Sheesh. It’s like you’ve never written off something shitty as God’s plan before.

      1. Well, when you spend your life around a bunch of people who did that and destroyed their own because of it, yeah.

        1. For the record, a good portion of my family are rabid, born again evangelicals.

        2. Well, when you spend your life around a bunch of people who did that and destroyed their own because of it, yeah.

          God-Emperor Nikki will tell you how to spend your fucking life, peasant!

    4. The political basis for this position is actually quite easy. The traditional argument in support of abortion rights (other than the libertarian bodily ownership argument) was that women needed the freedom to escape a bad decision (or worse, rape/incest), or else they would forever suffer a life of poverty. Singling out specific genetic disorders/traits, and aborting fetuses/babies on that basis alone smacks more of eugenics than desperation.

      Politically, that may be an easier battle, especially with ready-made slippery slope arguments, than against traditional notions of abortion.

      1. I just don’t see why escaping a bad decision is a more legitimate reason than escaping bad luck.

        As much as people may love their Down’s syndrome children, it’s a pretty rotten bit of luck to have one.

        1. What makes having a DS kid any worse than having a “shriek/PB”?

          They both need food/water and a basement they’ll never leave. At least the Downs kids will probably die early…

  9. As soon as we find that “gay gene” I propose a law forbidding abortions due to homosexuality.

    Watching that fight will be a fucking riot!!

    1. Exactly who do you think the sides of that fight will be?

      1. Gay rights folks vs. rabid pro-choicers.

    2. I don’t think retards should be forced to give birth to gay kids.

      1. If you’re going to use the R word, you might as well go full non-PC and use the F word also.

        1. Retard was the proper nomenclature once upon a time. Fags on the other hand were either cigarettes or sticks.

        2. Just zoomed right over your head, didn’t it? It’s kind of cute in a way.

    3. Should we cover Mets fans, too?

      Or are they all covered already in the categories under discussion?

      [ducks, covers…]

      1. Just Brewers fans – I mean, what do they have to hope for?

        1. I dunno but if the Astros can rise from the dead…

  10. Every OB/GYN tests for Downs early in the pregnancy. I wonder if they’ll still be offering that test in OH.

    1. Or once this fails, they just make the test illegal or so heavily regulated as to be illegal.

    2. Amniocentesis is normally done between 15-20 weeks. So it isn’t THAT early.

      1. They do in the first ultrasound. Neck fold measurement.

        Ask Old Man With Candy, he’s a vagina doctor.

        1. I think he’s more of an enthusiastic hobbyist than a doctor.

          1. Stand by, I need to make an emergency call to my wife.

            1. She’s tied up at the moment.

              1. Classic, I’m sure my co-workers are wondering why I’m laughing so hard I can barely breathe right now…

              2. Classic, I’m sure my co-workers are wondering why I’m laughing so hard I can barely breathe right now…

  11. I’m glad this thread is here, since something disturbing happened to me this weekend. I live in a small town that is heavily (80% or more) Mexican immigrant. One of my leisure activities is hiking, and I walk through town to get to the trailhead. On Saturday, I took a shortcut through an alley that runs behind several businesses and smelled something awful. I looked around and saw some garbage bags with a lot of flies on them in the alley ahead of me. One bag had been torn open, apparently by a stray dog, and inside the bag was what appeared to be masses of coagulated blood and chunks of meat. On closer examination, I saw several chunks that looked like miniature human arms and legs. Uh oh, I tell myself, this can’t be good. I grabbed a stick and poked around a bit, and there were other bits in there that were clearly part of faces and heads.

    1. This is a very small town, and there were no hospitals or clinics nearby. I made note of what I found and went over to the local police station to report what I’d seen. As I talked to the two cops on duty, they glanced at one another a few times, then asked some perfunctory questions. They seemed very uncomfortable with what I told them and refused to take a report, suggesting that perhaps I was imagining things. I eventually gave up and left. A few minutes later, I saw one of the cops following me. I slowed down, and he asked me to step over into the shade so we could talk for a minute or two. I was a bit wary, but agreed. He said, “Dr. Candy, let me level with you. This is a Mexican town. We get a lot of illegals who come here through a network of criminals. These criminals routinely rape the females. They get pregnant. Because they’re illegal, they can’t really seek out the help of medical professionals and can’t officially deal with us. So there’s some… irregular practitioners who step in and render the… needed services.”

      1. “It would be best,” he continued, “to pretend that you didn’t see anything or talked to us about anything. There’s some real dangerous people involved here. Just some friendly advice. And, really, no one will believe you anyway. It’s a pity that they were sloppy and left something around for people to find…” I thanked him and walked away. As I passed the alley, I glanced down it and, wouldn’t you know it, the bags were gone.

        1. Oh, are we telling stories here?

          1. A DEA officer stopped at a ranch in Texas, and talked with an old rancher. He told the rancher, “I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.” The rancher said, “Okay , but don’t go in that field over there…..”, as he pointed o
            ut the location.
            The DEA officer verbally exploded saying, ” Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me!” Reaching into his rear pants pocket, the arrogant officer removed his badge and proudly displayed it to the rancher. “See this fucking badge?! This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish…. On any land !! No questions asked or answers given!! Have I made myself clear?…. do you understand?!!”

            1. The rancher nodded politely, apologized, and went about his chores. A short time later, the old rancher heard loud screams, looked up, and saw the DEA officer running for his life, being chased by the rancher’s big Santa Gertrudis bull…… With every step the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it seemed likely that he’d sure enough get gored before he reached safety. The officer was clearly terrified. The rancher threw down his tools, ran to the fence and yelled at the top of his lungs…..

              “Your badge, show him your fucking BADGE!!”

          2. Dude, it is a smell I will never forget.

            1. I admit my skeptical nature finds it hard to believe such a random sensational story, but if it did happen….good lord, that would be upsetting

                1. True, how could someone with a big van filled with candy have anything but the best intentions?

                  1. He tells you that he’s coming.

                    It’s covered under the “fair notice” doctrine.

            2. Wait, are you serious? That’s awful!

        2. Holy. Shit. That’s one of the worst/craziest things I’ve ever heard.

          No commentary on my part. Just horror and a little outrage.

          1. What you have here is the effect of our immigration laws, how they are directly responsible for mass rape, poor medical “care,” and callousness about human life.

      2. “These criminals routinely rape the females. They get pregnant”

        Routinely? and they stay in one place long enough to then have a baby and have it nuked by Doctor Backroom-Coathanger Gozalez? And the good doctor has no brighter idea other than to dispose of his dead babies in plastic bags in the regular municipal trash-heap?

        While I don’t dispute the nature of what you may have come across, there a high-degree of freaking implausible going on in the policeman’s “Leveling with you” explanation.

        (which is itself the cherry on the cake of “don’t let anyone else know about the dead babies in the bags” wink wink)

        1. They don’t have the babies. These were fetuses, not full term, judging by the size of the parts. I also seriously doubt that it’s an actual doctor.

            1. Hi, Dr. Nick!

              1. Hollywood Upstairs Medical College is totally a legit medical school. Unless you’re in the bag for the AMA and licensing laws 😉

      3. Because they’re illegal, they can’t really seek out the help of medical professionals

        Bullshit. They can and do. All the time. On any given day, I would guess we have at least 2 or 3 illegals in our maternal-fetal medicine unit.

        Although there may be some who don’t realize this.

        1. Tell that to these poor, frightened girls. I don’t *know* that the cops are involved and part of the intimidation, but would that surprise anyone?

  12. This is immensely stupid. There are two possibilities – baby is a human and can’t be killed or fetus isn’t a human and can be terminated.

    In the first case you shouldn’t be allowed to kill any baby so making it only illegal to kill a kid with down syndrome is absurd. In the second case, it’s not a human anyway, so who gives a shit?

    Either way making an exception for one particular case is ridiculous. It’s almost as ridiculous as the feminists in Britain who support a ‘woman’s right to choose’ but want to make sex selective abortion illegal because aborting a fetus because it’s a girl is icky. Therefore, women have a right to choose unless me say otherwise!

    Abortion debates are invariably retarded.

    1. Abortion debates are invariably retarded.



        1. WHO WANTS CAKE?!

    2. Abortion debates are invariably retarded.

      We should abort them before they become a burden on us.

      1. Or before they become…retarded?

    3. Unfortunately I tend to agree.

      Some people believe that a human being starts at conception. Others argue that until the baby is breathing on its own, it has no rights. Both of these are positions of faith. I can’t argue faith.
      So can’t we come to some sort of political agreement akin to:
      “I know you pro-lifers believe human life should be protected at conception. However, the vast majority of people in the is country won’t support a ban on all abortions. So lets do some good and say that abortions are legal until 24 weeks (pick a number and we can haggle). And then try to reduce the number below that by persuasion.
      I know you pro-choicers believe that a woman should never have her right to an abortion restricted for any reason. So lets allow complete, and unfettered access to abortion until 24 weeks (again pick a number and we can haggle). By then the woman has had plenty of time to decide with no legal hangups.”
      This in now way “solves” the problem, but at least gives us something that most people could live with.

      1. Why do so many people act like the only options conception or birth? The baby becoming “human” at some point during it’s development inside the womb seems far closer to the truth.

        1. It is closer to the truth but we don’t know when that is, at least not with the technology we have now, as far as I know.

          1. It’s not a technological limitation. It’s that there is no agreed upon point at which a person gains rights, and that development doesn’t happen in discrete steps but along a continuous spectrum.

            1. There’s no agreed-on point because rights are invented, not discovered. We make the rules to get along together.

          2. Even with newer technology it will still remain largely philosophical. People are never going to agree on an exact time (and in truth it probably varies from fetus to fetus), but at least their should be a way to compromise that would please most people.

            I mean believing that a trip down the birth canal makes a baby suddenly human is just as magical thinking as believing that it’s human the moment a sperm touches the egg.

            i guess what I’m saying is that the extremes on both sides are equally retarded.

            1. Why the focus on speciesism? There’s no question as to its being human; no other type of living thing got in there. You can chop it in little pieces, & those pieces are still human.

        2. Who cares if it’s human? The same thing might apply to the smartest of other animals too (as per L. Neil Smith’s books). The important thing is, would it mind dying? If not, and its owner wants it dead, what’s the problem?

      2. First trimester for me.

        It doesn’t really solve the problem but I can accept it as a compromise. We’ve got bigger fish to fry.

      3. If that is “faith” then any belief in rights is also equally inarguable, which makes libertarianism untenable.

        1. Not untenable, just unprovable, like all other opinions. What’s wrong with that? You want to be special somehow, so you don’t have to persuade people? Like your opinion is “fact”? Yeah, it’s a fact that it’s your opinion. You don’t think your opinion is better than other people’s? Like your opinion can’t win a fair fight?

    4. “There are two possibilities – baby is a human and can’t be killed or fetus isn’t a human and can be terminated.”

      I think you’re leaving out some key context, in that our lords and masters in the federal courts have proclaimed a right to abortion – with an exception for regulations which don’t impose an “undue burden.”

      So the mainstream prolife tactic is to pass laws which the federal courts will accept.

      If you’re shocked at the lack of logic, don’t blame the pro-lifers, we would *love* to have consistent laws against abortion, whether the baby is disabled or not.

      But from time to time, we find an abortion practice which is sufficiently shocking to the conscience of even moderate pro-choicers and federal judges that we have a fighting chance of getting the law passed.

      We want the “moderates” and the judges to say, “logic be damned, I’m not approving abortion based on disability, or sex, or race!”

      Then later, hopefully, they will say, “wait a minute, if I’m bothered by the targeting of disabled, female or black babies for abortion, maybe I should be bothered even by the targeting of healthy white male babies! Maybe the horror is the same in each case!”

      1. Wouldn’t it be more logical & attractive to ban abortion by reason of the fetus’s or embryo’s not being defective?

    5. Yeah, that’s the answer. Either abortion is OK and up to the mother, or it isn’t. If it’s OK, then it doesn’t matter why it’s done.

    6. But if half the people believe 1 way & half the other, you could compromise by saying that any time someone wants an abortion, toss a coin, & the way it comes up determines whether you get to have an abortion. So each side gets its way half the time. In any particular case it’s stupid, but in terms of democracy it’s about as fair as could be.

    7. There is a third possibility: fetus is human, but can be killed anyway, because it is located inside another person’s body and is unwelcome there.

      1. Dumbass Mr Toad-

        So, if I invite you to sail the Atlantic with me, then change my mind 1000 miles offshore because you are “unwanted”, you agree that I have the “right” to toss you overboard?

        1. No, for two reasons: 1. Ownership of external property, such as a boat, is a weaker, less intimate form of ownership than body-ownership. And 2. By accepting your invitation and entering your boat, I give up something–the freedom and autonomy I was enjoying by being on my own property or on neutral property before I boarded your boat. This obligates you to return to me the freedom and autonomy I gave up, by letting me off your boat back onto land again. I accept your invitation only on the assumption that you will do so. in contrast, the fetus gives nothing up by being conceived–before conception it has nothing to give up, not even a self. Therefore, conception incurs no obligation to give it more womb-time than you choose to give.

          1. I can legally sell the boat. I can’t legally sell the body.

            But it works more like this–

            I, along with a co-cospirator, do a bunch of crap that I know might make you get on the boat. And I know I don’t want you there, but I do all the stuff anyway and you are forced to get on the boat.

            And then, even though I forced you to be there, I decide I don’t wanmt you here anymore, and toss you overboard.

            And you die. Gasping for air or ripped into meaty hunks.

            Is that okay? particularly since you didn’t want to get on the boat at all. You didn’t want to do anything.

            1. No, because by “doing a bunch of crap that you know might make me get on the boat”, you TAKE something from me–the freedom and autonomy I was enjoying by being on land. This obligates you to return what you have taken by letting me back on land again. In contrast, conceiving a fetus does not take anything from it (before conception it has nothing to take, not even a self), and therefore incurs no obligation to give it more time inside your body than you choose to give. Its short life from conception until abortion is just so much gained for it, a net benefit, a favor you do for it, and doing favors does not incur any obligation to do further favors.

              Just as giving blood does not obligate me to also give the next transfusion the patient may need, similarly, giving someone a short life inside your body does not obligate you to also give him a longer one.

              All very simple, very easy to understand.

  13. So Cytotoxic makes one nasty comment, and thats it? He doesn’t try to defend himself, he doesn’t double down on stupid, he doesn’t try to get the last word in? I am disappointed.

    1. He’s trolling. Successfully, apparently.

    2. Yeah that is kind of interesting….

      It was a total Hit and Run comment.

    3. He saw a retarded dog outside that needed killin

  14. This is a terrible law, that also happens to be facially unconstitutional.

    What’s the argument for saying that a woman with a Downs’ fetus has fewer rights than one who has a normal fetus?

    1. They know it’s futile, but hey, at least they didn’t spend their time in office trying to cut the size of government or some dumb shit like that.

      1. What could be more conducive to arbitrary government than trusting the government to decide which human beings are un-persons lacking rights?

        1. Stick up for the Down’s kids, Eddie. They are the only ones who are going to fall for your bullshit.

          1. I notice that you are remarkably hesitant to discuss these issues on the merits.

            Eg, which living human beings are un-persons without the right to life?

            1. I don’t have to discuss shit with you, fuck-o. Go on and give your retard laugh and think that means you’ve “won.”

              1. I’m serious, which living human beings are un-persons without the right to life?

                1. I’m sure you *could* answer, you just can’t be bothered, right?

    2. It’s as if you’re looking at this case in a vacuum.

      It’s not as if prolifers defend the right to kill a “normal fetus.” We’re faced with a Supreme Court which says you can’t regulate abortion if the regulation imposes an “undue burden” on the right to abortion. So for those who are serious about saving babies, then we need to have laws the courts will accept as not imposing an undue burden.

      That’s why prolifers focus on abortion practices which gross out normal people. The hope is that even judges and “moderates” who shrug off abortion under euphemisms like “procedure” and “choice” will cringe at some of the more blatant examples of abortion – like killing kids because of their race, sex or disability.

      It’s like abolitionists focusing on defending the rights of fugitive slaves, even though their ultimate goal is to free all slaves.

      1. Good point. Things would be a lot easier if we just followed the constitution and just left abortion up the the individual states, but the Supreme Court decided to ruin all that.

        1. But you couldn’t do that because then people would just cross state lines to get an abortion!

          We’d need some kind of fugitive fetus act.

          1. I’m amused by the choicers and their hangers on who say (a) OMG this latest prolife law will destroy the right to abortion and (b) you silly prolifers, you know you can’t enforce these laws!

          2. If the Second American Civil War ends up being about abortion that would just be brilliantly stupid.

            “Right to life!” screams anti-abortion side as they gun down their opponents on the field of battle. “Free to choose!’ declare the pro-abortion side as they start conscription to protect their way of life.

            1. “gun down their opponents on the field of battle”

              You’re trying to refute prolifers by talking about what they would do in an *imaginary* scenario?

              1. Uh, no, I’m making a joke about how silly an American Civil War about abortion would be and how hypocritical both(since you seemed to ignore the whole ‘implied the pro-abortion side would institute military slavery’ part, but Eddie’s got to feel like the victim here) sides would be.

          3. Honestly with the exceptions of a few fanatics, I doubt anyone would say that. It would largely solve the controversy.

      2. It’s as if you’re looking at this case in a vacuum.

        I see what you did there. Cute!

      3. I’d think moderates would be more sympathetic to aborting the defective than to abortions generally.

    3. This is a terrible law


    4. Is it facially unconstitutional or is it against stare decisis? Roe v. Wade is only a court decision that could be easily overturned by a later court.

      If they can regulate firearm ownership, length, magazine capacity, (not to mention speech) why can’t they regulate baby killin?

    5. Because she’s discriminating against a monority which is the capital crime of our times.

      1. “Minority”

      2. I think you meant “moronity”.

  15. make Down syndrome code for poverty, when only poor people are forced to give birth after a diagnosis

    So… poor womyn can’t lie about their reason for wanting an abortion? Am I missing something, or is that really retarded?

    1. Yes, it’s very retarded. Just like European countries that have tried to ban sex selective abortion. All they have to do is say ‘oh, this has nothing to do with sex-selection’ and everything is good.

      1. Pretty much a fantastic example of ‘DO SOMETHING’ legislation intended to push the ‘concern’ out of conversation and pretend it fixed the problem.

    2. Yes, this entire thing seems rather absurd due to the fact that you don’t actually have to provide a reason for an abortion. And if they did ask, there’s this thing called lying about your intentions. What, are we so incompetent as a species now that we’re incapable of basic dishonesty outside of the political realm?

  16. “In just over two months, we’d watched him or her morph from a bean-shaped embryo into a little human being with a face and arms and legs ? fingers and toes, too….

    “…”What if there’s something wrong with the baby?” I asked my husband. But he reassured me that the odds were very much against that situation…

    “…”I’m so sorry,” she said, “but there is a 99% chance that your child will be born with Down Syndrome.”…

    “On our way home, we stopped at a sidewalk cafe. There I noticed an older couple with their son who appeared to have Down Syndrome. They were trying to prevent him from running out into the street so they could hand-feed him a slice of pizza and wipe his face with a napkin. Though he behaved like a rambunctious toddler, I wondered if he were a teenager or older (it’s often difficult to determine the age of someone with Down’s)….

    “Only then, after I’d gotten to know my baby as well as I possibly could, did I feel I was ready to make the hardest decision of my life ? terminate the pregnancy. And I would make it as a mother who wanted to do the best for her child.”

    (from Yahoo)


    1. That’s an awfully sad story which has nothing to do with whether or not it should be illegal to abort a fetus with down syndrome. People here don’t generally give in to appeals to emotion.

      1. “People here don’t generally give in to appeals to emotion.”

        Unless they’re flipping out about Sky-Daddies, calling people “slavers,” or…wait, there’s a *lot* of appeals to emotion on H&R!

        1. He said “give in to appeals to emotion” not “employ appeals to emotion”.

      2. Post a story about a cop shooting someone. You’ll see plenty of emotion.

    2. Apparently, sometimes what is best for the child is to cut its limbs off, one by one, and then have the body chopped up and sucked out of the womb with a vacuum. After all, it would be absolute hell for the parents to be inconvenienced or anything.

      1. Having a disabled child is a lot more than a simple inconvenience. It’s a major damper on the rest of your life. Yes, people love their retarded children, but it’s still a terrible thing to have happen.

        Now if abortion is always immoral, then there is your answer. But if it is acceptable in any case, I would think that avoiding having a child who will never be able to live truly independently and who will be a constant drain on your resources, psychological well being and ability to live your life as you want would be a pretty prime case.

        An argument can also be plausibly made that non-existence is preferable to existence. I don’t know if I buy it, but it is not as obvious as you suggest.

        1. Not only that, but since we don’t know where the “you”-ness comes from, maybe when the entity that would’ve been “you” get aborted, “you” become the next live birth that couple has. We really have no idea what the experience of non-existence, or even just plain non-existence itself, is like; how could there ever be a universe without a you? If you weren’t who you are, wouldn’t you be somebody else? Maybe not somebody else at this instant, but somebody somewhere sometime.

          1. From the parents’ POV, their child is their child. Whatever plans they have for children are taken care of as the babies come along. If this one’s aborted, the next one is the one this one would’ve been.

        2. Like I said, the worst case scenario is the parents offer the child for adoption and nobody comes forward, and nobody pays for its care, so the child dies.

          In what way is that worse than aborting it?

  17. One thing you can generally say about the anti-abortion people is that at least they’re consistent on thinking you should have to keep your baby under threat of government force.

    But this law is grossly stupid for all the reasons pointed out upthread.

    1. Just exactly whose force will be used to protect the all sacred PROPERTY RIGHTS?

      1. The owner’s?

    2. I don’t know of anyone on the anti-abortion side that thinks that. Adoption is almost always suggested as an option.

      1. Well, keep it until birth.

      2. That’s still assuming that the woman has to keep the baby.

        I’m not sure how anyone plans on enforcing that, but in order to ensure that a woman did keep it, some kind of enforcement mechanism is going to be necessary.

  18. Weren’t Republicans complaining loudly about unfunded mandates a few years ago? Isn’t this the same thing – forcing parents to care for a retarded child possibly for the rest of their lives?

    I’m all for limiting late-term abortions, but Down’s Syndrome? No thanks. We’ll reset and try again,

    1. Exactly.

    2. Worst case scenario, the parents put up the kid for adoption and no-one volunteers, and the kid dies.

      I’m not saying that’s likely, just that if the “worst” happened, at least we wouldn’t have a “doctor” tearing the baby apart in the womb.

      1. I’m all for limiting late-term abortions, but Down’s Syndrome female? No thanks. We’ll reset and try again,

      2. Uhhhh…. that’s not what happens when kids don’t get adopted.
        They end up in foster homes or state care.

        1. Well, then, it’s not as bad as abortion, is it?

          I’m simply taking the case in the form least advantageous to myself – and showing that I *still* win.

          The cost of state care could be met from the money we save when we no longer provide military defense to rich countries, when we allow well-off people to save for their own retirement, when we’ve gotten rid of the gender-studies professors and the assistant high-school principals, etc.

    3. I’m all for limiting late-term abortions, but Down’s Syndrome Jewish? No thanks. We’ll reset and try again,

      1. Yes, I’m sure it’s very disturbing and difficult when you discover that your unborn baby is Jewish.

        1. Do they have a test for that now?

    4. I’m all for limiting late-term abortions, but Down’s Syndrome gay? No thanks. We’ll reset and try again,

      1. Well as long as the baby isn’t a fucking ginger. Is it even murder then? I mean they have no souls.

  19. I will say that if I found out that my child was going to be born with down syndrome, then choosing whether or not to abort would be an absolute ethical nightmare. I can’t imagine the difficultly in having to make that decision

    1. *nod* agreed. it would be a nightmare.

  20. I’d be curious to see a Venn diagram showing the overlap between the population of people supporting this law, which, if actually enforced, would be literally guaranteed to increase the number of people who receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes (to mention nothing of increasing the constituency of people demanding more government benefits, since many alleged “small government” proponents change position when required to care for a disabled family member), compared with the population of people who insist that illegal immigrants must be expelled because there’s a risk that they will receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes.

    1. If we got out of the business of providing military defense for rich countries who could pay for it themselves, if we reformed our Medicare and Social Security system to make it more like aid to the poor and less like a Ponzi scheme, if we stopped paying businesses to advertise abroad, etc., we would be better able to afford aid to the poor and disabled.

      Right now, we’re killing the disabled so we have more money to pay gender-studies professors.

  21. Was someone afraid of suppressing mongoloid culture? Mongolicide?

  22. If you are concerned about selective abortion of Down-Syndrome fetuses, here’s some good news: soon it will be possible to genetically engineer Down-Syndrome zygotes, and then you can restore the balance by growing them in your own uterus. You will be able to flood the world with Down-Syndrome patients if you want!

    1. A fully relevant and responsive post.

  23. And after the ban they’ll bitch about the greatly increased social welfare spending caused by Down Syndrome individuals, who are for the most part incapable of taking care of oneself (much like a child) as adults, etc. Plus the rich will just resort to medical tourism to be rid of a down syndrome fetus, and the poor can’t afford to care for down syndrome readily and therefore will end up swelling the welfare roles… so ohio… bad idea…

  24. Wow. I’m anti-abortion, but a law like that is just loaded to the gills with lack of equal protection and logical inconsistency.

    Monday (at the abortion clinic): Sure you can abort your child. Just lay right down there and we’ll suck that sucker (heh) right out! Shall we try to keep it intact for “donation” purposes?
    Tuesday (at the doctor): The results came back, your child has Down’s Syndrome
    Wednesday (at the abortion clinic): No, we can’t abort your precious Down’s Syndrome baby, YOU MONSTER!”


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