Abortion advocates cry ‘torture’ over Indiana’s ban on aborting disabled babies

Down syndrome

On Thursday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a law that made his state the second in the country to ban abortions based on Down syndrome, as well as race, sex, or disability. While discrimination of any other type is looked upon with disdain, pro-abortion extremists are infuriated by this law protecting Indiana’s most vulnerable humans.

Vox called the bill horrifying and said it places too much of a burden on women – plus, it’s like “torture”…

The effect of the law would be to burden providers by making them question women’s reasons for having an abortion, and burden women by forcing them to justify their decision even under the most tragic medical circumstances.

The “disability” part of the law is especially alarming to reproductive rights advocates. It could include not just conditions like Down syndrome, but also things like anencephaly where a fetus is missing part of its brain and is certain to die either before or after birth. Some women choose to carry such pregnancies to term, but for others the idea is pure torture.

No, torture would be what these babies undergo during an abortion. Most of the time, when babies are aborted for a disability, it’s during the second or third trimester. So the baby is subjected to a dilation and evacuation, or D&E, abortion — and that is torture.


Amanda Marcotte, writing for Salon, called the bill sadistic and humiliating (oh, and racist, of course):

But the provision that is getting the most attention, no doubt because of the sheer sadism of it, is the ban on abortion for race, gender or disability. You can feel the self-satisfied gotcha-style pleasure of conservatives who came up with this one. How can you liberals be against this? It’s a ban on discrimination, and you guys love that stuff!

In reality, however, this provision is both deeply racist and misogynist. There’s no real evidence that aborting based on a fetus’s race or gender is a thing that happens. Conservatives believe it, however, based on some ugly urban legends, starting with the unsavory assumption that women of all races would abort rather than give birth to a child of color.

… The part of this provision that gets the most attention is the ban on aborting pregnancies after a doctor determines that the fetus has an anomaly leading to disability. Unlike like race- or gender-based abortions, this is something that happens — a common example is aborting pregnancies after a Down’s syndrome diagnosis — and once again, anti-choicers are hiding behind a supposedly noble cause (protecting the disabled) for no other purpose than to force childbirth on the unwilling.

Marcotte might want to educate herself before going on one of her abortion-defending screeds next time. Planned Parenthood was all too willing to accept money earmarked to abort black babies. Gendercide is also a problem in the United States, and one that is steadily growing.


It’s also worth noting that Amanda Marcotte has shown before that she hates the thought of a baby with Down syndrome being allowed to live. She threw a hissy fit when North Dakota passed its similar law, and was infuriated that a baby with Down syndrome wouldn’t be aborted, but instead placed with an adoptive family. Good times, Amanda. Good times.

Think Progress called it a crazy new way to restrict abortion:

The legislation includes several provisions that fit into a larger strategy to shame women for the reasons they may decide to end a pregnancy. Women will be prohibited from choosing an abortion based on their fetuses’ gender, a policy that’s based on racist assumptions about Asian American women’s attitudes toward daughters. Women will also be barred from choosing an abortion if their fetus has genetic abnormalities like Down Syndrome, a rare restriction — only North Dakota has successfully enacted it so far — that seeks to drive a wedge between the abortion rights community and the disability rights community.

It’s interesting that abortion advocates would try to claim that preventing preborn babies with disabilities from being aborted would be problematic for the disability rights community. It’s not, of course. But then, abortion fanatics have always been fans of the “better dead than” argument: better dead than disabled. Better dead than poor. Better dead than unwanted. If pregnancy occurs under anything less than perfect circumstances, the baby is better dead, and especially if the baby has a disability. Yet there’s really a question as to why the disability rights community isn’t running towards pro-abortion extremists with open arms?

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, also slammed the bill.

“This is one of the most extreme anti-abortion measures in the country and only further penalizes Indiana women and their doctors for accessing constitutionally protected abortion care,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Preventing a woman from choosing abortion based on a medical diagnosis substitutes a politician’s ideology for a woman’s judgement. Politicians like Governor Pence who insert themselves into a woman’s private medical decisions aren’t just practicing bad medicine, they’re betraying the seven in ten Americans who support safe and legal access to abortion.”

“Seven in ten Americans”? Sorry, Ilyse, that’s not even close to the truth. According to a January Marist poll, “61% overall want to ban abortion past 20 weeks of pregnancy, including 62% of pro-choicers” and “57% believe abortion should be either completely illegal or only permitted in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life.” Hogue continued with her usual screed:

Instead of confronting the very real challenges our nation faces, Governor Pence has decided to focus instead on taking away Hoosiers’ constitutional right to access abortion.

So to Ilyse Hogue, it’s completely fine to kill preborn babies with disabilities if their mother decides they’re inconvenient. Practicing bad medicine isn’t protecting children who have just as much of a right to life as any typical child; it’s violating the Hippocratic Oath by taking the lives of children with disabilities.

The problem here is that there are countless people who see people with disabilities as less valuable than “normal” people. They are ignorant and prejudiced, and so believe that it’s acceptable to kill preborn babies with disabilities because their lives will be miserable and full of suffering. The reality is that people with disabilities can and do lead lives filled with joy and meaning — and they have intrinsic value, just like any typical person. It is grossly immoral, not to mention discriminatory, to advocate for someone to be killed simply because they have a disability. Yet that’s exactly what these pro-abortion extremists are doing.

It’s enough to make you wonder how they’re able to live with themselves each day.

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