On March 12, Down syndrome advocates in Pennsylvania will be gathering in support of a proposed law that would protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from being aborted. Similar to recent laws passed in Ohio, Indiana, and North Dakota, House Bill 2050 would ban any abortion where the baby has a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Karen Gaffney, an activist and individual with Down syndrome will be speaking at the event. She garnered attention in 2001 when she became the first person with Down syndrome to swim across the English Channel, and holds two Special Olympic gold medals.
Teenager Chloe Kondrich, another Down syndrome advocate, will also be attending. Chloe’s law was an initial law enacted in 2014 to help decrease abortion of babies with Down syndrome in the state. It requires that parents whose baby has received a diagnosis of Down syndrome to be presented with resources and support about the disorder.
And now, advocates want Pennsylvania to take even stronger steps to protect these babies. Support for the bill is growing, with over 70 co-sponsors in the House, and a similar bill soon to be proposed in the Senate.
The rally will be held March 12 in the Pennsylvania Capitol Rotunda. Those interested in attending can find more information here. If you’re not able to attend (or even if you are) click here to sign the petition to protect babies with Down syndrome in your state.