Yesterday, the Arkansas Senate approved a bill banning doctors from performing abortions because of Down Syndrome diagnosis. This law follows the one adopted in the state last week banning abortion after 18 weeks of pregnancy (see Arkansas: abortion ban tightens from 20 to 18 weeks). Prior to the vote, Senator Breanne Davis gave an emotional presentation of a resolution recognizing World Down Syndrome Day, which is today, accompanied by her daughter Everly, who was born with Down syndrome.
Meanwhile, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed a bill into law Tuesday putting in place a ban on abortions based on “sex, race, or disability of a foetus”. The measure is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on behalf of the state’s only abortion clinic, which states that “women have a constitutional right to undergo race-based abortions, gender-based abortions, and disability-based abortions”. Supporters of the bill, including State Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty (R), argue that “prevents foetuses from being discriminated against because of their disability, gender or race” and that “abortions in this cases are reminiscent of the social evil of eugenics”. Senators in Ohio and Iowa have both just approved similar legislation.