Protecting Children with Down Syndrome
It was an experience unlike any I had had before in my six years roaming the corridors of the Capitol, pleading on behalf of preborn babies and their mothers.
A young man named John was accompanying our group of advocates as we visited the offices of state representatives. John is a delightful 30-year-old man who works hard but also likes to have fun. He also happens to have Down syndrome.
John had personally signed postcards to present to the lawmakers urging them to support House Bill 2050, which would ban the abortion of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome. For John, the cause is not political, but highly personal. The vast majority of children diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted. Many of his age cohorts are not here today because of this outrageous discrimination against children with disabilities.
John had an amazing effect upon the people we visited. I felt as if I were traveling with royalty. Everyone, it seemed, was eager to take his postcard, shake his hand, and wish him well.
In fact, one legislator enthusiastically led John to the floor of the House, where they posed for pictures. John and the lawmaker seemed to have an instant connection–perhaps because the legislator himself has a child with a learning disability.
Each baby with Down syndrome should be treated as a prince or princess. They have value beyond that of the rarest diamond, beyond that of the most expensive plot of real estate.
Every one of them should be treasured. That is why it is so important that the Pennsylvania legislature pass the Down Syndrome Protection Act. Too many precious lives are being lost…too many families are being robbed of the joy of knowing these magnificent human beings.
For John and all those with Down syndrome, it is time for the Keystone State to stand up for the rights of people with disabilities and enact House Bill 2050.
Action Item: Please call your lawmaker in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and urge him or her to support House Bill 2050.