Banning Abortions Based On Down Syndrome

North Dakota is about to become the first state to take a stand and begin banning abortions based on Down syndrome.

That’s right,  North Dakota has decided that Down syndrome is not a reason to end a pregnancy and a life.

As AP reports: “Fargo Republican Rep. Bette Grande is the prime sponsor of the bill. She says abortions based on gender or genetic abnormalities have “no place in civilized society.” Grande says sex-selection abortions usually target female fetuses because of preference for a baby boy. Grande says she also has two children with “genetic disabilities.”

A little boy with Down syndrome

Close to 90% of all prenatally diagnosed babies with Down syndrome are denied the right to life.  An entire potential population deemed not worthy of life.  Not to mention those who would segregate those like  my son from the rest of the world.

Representative Grande has chosen to take a public stand to protect lives in North Dakota  Lives that other wise would have been tossed aside.

Who are we to decide that the life of a boy has more value than the life of a girl?

Or the life of a person with 26 chromosomes is worth more than the life of a person with 27?

Banning abortion based on Down syndrome.  A little boy with Down syndrome riding in his wagon.

How could the perception of many towards people with Down syndrome change if it was no longer legal to abort them specifically?  More acceptance, perhaps?  More respect? I like this, Banning Abortions Based on Down syndrome.

Banning abortion based on Down syndrome.  A little boy with Down syndrome and his big sister.

Standing up for the weakest among us, even before they are born.  Thank you, Representative Grande for  taking the step of banning abortions based on Down syndrome.

Hat tip:  Life News




About Tammy and Parker

Special Needs Blogger, and homeschooling Mom, heavily involved in advocacy for all kids with special needs in Utah.


  1. What about the mother? She trying to make the best choice for the baby and herself. What gives the Government any choice in what a women does with her own body? If a woman knows she may not have a strength or means to care for and raise a child with a disability, why does the Government have the right to say “no, you got pregnant you have to have the child”. She may give the child up for adoption, creating another problem.
    Just because you made the heart wrenching decision to go through with the pregnancy to term, doesn’t mean with other women are able to do the same.
    You are pro life, I get that, but not everyone is, However, the government has no rights to tell women what she can and can’t do with her own body. Jeez is this the 1950’s?

    • I was worried I wasn’t clear, I’m not advocating that women abort babies with Disabilities, Just that the government has not right to stick their ‘nose’ in what is private, family based decision, this is between the mother (and father) and the baby. If women were to get appropriate advice from their doctor/ midwife, she can make their own informed choice.

  2. Jo, I’ve been thinking about how to reply to your comments. My intention for this post wasn’t to debate the pro life pro choice issue. You are right though, I am very firmly pro life. And no worries, I didn’t think you were advocating the abortion of kids with Down syndrome.

    I was given a 4% chance of Parker having Ds based on the length of his femurs and my advanced maternal age. But in my heart I KNEW Parker would be born with Ds and didn’t experience any heart wrenching decisions. We had been told that he might have the possibility of having a form of dwarfism that he could not be born with and survive. I was more worried when we were told that than I ever was with an extra chromosome. That being said, we had no idea at the time of Parker’s other health issues. His heart and bowels looked good when he was still inside of me.

    While there are those that would claim state’s rights with this bill, I’m willing to bet something will trump that and it will never really come into being.

    But how fantastic for someone in the spotlight like this to stand up and make a public stand, knowing her re-election chances could be squashed by doing so, and say that there really isn’t a reason to abort simply based on an extra chromosome.

    That is the entire reason I keep this blog going. To show that even with all the health issues Parker has, his life IS worth living. Most of the kids with Ds that I know don’t have anywhere near the health issues Parker does, btw.

    In today’s society the words Down syndrome are synonymous with disposable. Many parents choose to abort not because they can’t handle a child with Down syndrome, but because they are given out dated information, or buy into the idea that a child with Down syndrome suffers from that extra chromosome.

    If this story might make just one soon to be Mama stop and think, ‘huh, maybe that Down syndrome diagnosis isn’t the end of the world after all’ and thus search out more info and decide not to abort after all…..then it’s totally worth it to me.

    Yes, Parker has been through a lot. But I don’t for one second believe that aborting him would have been the better choice. He knows great love and great joy. His life is worth living. Many typical kids wind up going through lots of health issues as well. Yet, their parents most likely never even thought about aborting them.

    As for me, yes, there are challenging days. I’ve tried to be very open and honest on this blog. My other 5 kids came with their own challenges too. Parker’s challenges are different than theirs were, but there is not one thing about Parker I regret. Well, except the pulmonary hypertension and that I simply hate.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify more about this post and talk a bit more about Parker’s story. I’m pretty fond of this littlest Hodson boy of mine. :D

  3. Frank Brank says:

    I think I am with Jo. Raising a child is expensive, raising a child with special needs is HORRIFICALLY expensive. What if that isn’t on their plate? What if they have a different faith than you. What if they are just plain not wanting to have the sacrifice required to give their life to a child with a disability. I have watched a single mom who uses her state services to keep him in a “preschool” from 8-4 every day. She is checking in on facebook at the movies, shopping and doing her nails. She is single. She is not willing to do what it takes to take care of her DS son. She didn’t know before hand. I have talked to her countless times. But she isn’t willing to take the time to give up herself for him.

    • Frank,

      I don’t claim to have all the answers. But I do have a (rhetorical) question. How is it the child’s fault for the Mother’s actions above, and should the child be denied a chance at life because of it?

      PS: Did you know that today is World Down Syndrome Day? A day to celebrate just how far our society has come in recognizing the rights of a person with Ds. :D

  4. excellent post Tammy, every child has a right to life and that includes those children with down syndrome. My mom got pregnant in her 40s and docs gave her all the negative stuff about having a child at that age. My parents did not consider abortion an option and were prepared to love and accept whatever child God had for them. That baby is now in college and a man of God we are all proud of. I think to some extent them being faced with the possibility of having a disabled child then prepared them for the grandchild God would be placing in their life later. They are amazing with Junior.

  5. Great post! Lovely photographs! I think this is a wonderful Bill to pass! Having grown up with a little brother with Downs (he’s 18 now, has completed mainstream school and is an accomplished artist) I find the very notion of his ‘condition’ being a bases from which people may choose to kill their child to be utterly horrifying. Indeed, I find the murder of any child disgusting beyond words! And the very thought of cutting a life before it has truly begun is dispicable. Yes, I’m sure I’ll be categorised as pro-life. In truth, I’m pro morality. Any woman who becomes pregnant runs the ‘risk’ of having a child with Downs. That you decide to kill this child is cowardly, selfish and utterly, utterly disgusting. For some strange reason many women seem to forget that it was their own fault that they became pregnant (and I highly doubt they were making too many complaints at the time!). People may makes stupid excuses about the cost of raising a child with Downs, or the ‘sacrifice’ (and what a ridiculous word that is to use!). These are NOTHING compared to the reward. There is no one in my life who makes me smile more than my little brother. Switch the T.V. on and have a look at all the crap us ‘normal’ people are causing and ask yourself, do you really have any right to decide whether someone with Downs – who will undoubtedly be more loving, giving, accepting, inspiring than you could ever hope to be – should live or die? I apologise for my rant. I just get very infuriated when I see all these excuses people use to excuse the murder of a child. Why is it that people view those with Downs as a burden? Maybe it takes them a bit longer to learn how do things cause there’s just not enough room their wee bodies to hold all that love and fine motor skills at the same time. If all the world couldn’t learn to speak, read, write, etc. at the pace most of us can, but could love like there’s no tomorrow; would that really make this a lesser world? Surely it would cause it to be quite the opposite.

  6. To single out Down syndrome as a non-abortable disability somehow seems to send the message that some disabilities are abortable. That’s probably not the point the rep or you is trying to make, and I think positive messages about Down syndrome and the people who have it are desirable. Obviously, I’d much rather see legislation that makes it illegal for any baby to be aborted due to gender, disability, social status, etc.

    As far as women having the right to make decisions concerning their own bodies – as long as they weren’t raped, they DID have the right to make the decision whether to get pregnant or not. Unprotected sex is the decision point, even protected sex carries risk and knowledge that you could possibly get pregnant. I’m pro-choice – yeah, choose whether you’re going to take the risk or not, NOT choose whether you’re going to face up to the challenges and blessings of your decisions or not.

    Hope I wasn’t too graphic, Tammy.


  7. FunMumX3 says:

    Chiming in late just to get a thought off my mind… most of the readers here are likely US based so please consider that much of the world has a public health care system that actually takes care of its citizens. The US seems almost third world in its inability to take care of the necessities of life. I can’t imagine making a choice between health care and putting food on the table (… but I am in awe of Tammy and others like her for making it work and advocating for the rights of Parker). Living in Canada we have wonderful health care and I can guarantee I have not spent more on my child with DS than on her siblings. Well, I am a bit of a sucker for buying her gorgeous clothes, but that’s just a girl thang.

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