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Arizona Senate approves ban on abortions based on diagnosis of genetic anomalies

by | Feb 5, 2021

By Dave Andrusko

The Arizona Senate Thursday approved Senate Bill 1457 which would make it a felony for abortionists to knowingly perform an abortion because the child has been prenatally diagnosed with a genetic anomaly, most often Down syndrome.

Sponsor state Senator an Sen. Nancy Barto of Phoenix said, “This bill will stop abortions solely based on the child’s genetic abnormalities,” Bob Christie of the Associated Press reported.

Naturally, Planned Parenthood opposes SE 1457.

The bill is “a cruel attempt to yet again limit abortion, this time by targeting families who seek this option after learning their fetus has developed a disability,” said  Marilyn Rodriguez of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona.

Bills banning abortion because of genetic anomaly, race, and/or gender have passed in ten states.

One Circuit Court—the 6th— gave the state of Tennessee a big victory when it ruled the state could begin enforcing a ban on abortion when the abortionist knows that the woman is seeking the abortion because of the child’s sex or race or if he knows the woman is seeking an abortion because of a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Another—the 8th—upheld  a decision overturning an Arkansas law banning abortions  when the unborn child is diagnosed with Down syndrome, but the concurring opinions pointed a way forward .

Efforts to ban these eugenic abortions received a huge boost in the 2019 case of Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky when Justice Clarence Thomas wrote an eloquent 20-page concurrence in which he wrote. 

”This case highlights the fact that abortion is an act rife with the potential genetic manipulation.”

 He concluded,

“Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the twentieth-century eugenics movement. In other contexts, the Court has been zealous in vindicating the rights of people even potentially subjected to race, sex, and disability discrimination. … Although the Court declines to wade into these issues today, we cannot avoid them forever.

Categories: Legislation
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