Preborn Babies and the Law

By Judie Brown

The Ohio House of Representatives passed a law last week that would, if enacted, ban any abortion once a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome is made.

House Bill 214 details the reasoning behind the prohibition, listing various scenarios that apply, including a test result indicating Down syndrome, a prenatal diagnosis, or any other reason cited as the argument in favor of aborting the child because of Down syndrome. The law states that a doctor who violates this law would be guilty of “a felony of the fourth degree.”

Life News reports that “The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (Ohio House Bill 214) would help prevent discrimination by prohibiting abortions on unborn babies who have or may have Down syndrome.”

Down syndrome is a hot potato in the news these days, as we see in Iceland and elsewhere where there is the sick, disturbing objective of making the nations Down syndrome free by aborting all babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome. But are these controversial political goals in other countries such that they should frame the goals of lawmakers in Ohio, or anywhere in the USA for that matter? I have questions about such tactics and what could result from them.

The first question is a very personal one of my own, as I had a brother who was born with several anomalies, including Down syndrome, a hole in his heart, and circulatory problems. Mark died at the age of two due to complications from a common cold. His heart gave out. So, I have to wonder whether or not this bill would have protected my brother if a prenatal diagnosis had revealed the heart and circulatory problems but not specifically the Down syndrome. The answer is obvious to me. Ohio House Bill 214 would not have protected my brother if my mother had sought to abort him because of the two other conditions.

There lies the basis for my second question. What if a preborn baby in Ohio was prenatally diagnosed with spina bifida, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or trisomy 13? Would House Bill 214 save that baby from abortion? No, it would not. We understand that people supporting bills like Ohio’s HB 214 are just as committed to ending abortion as we are. But what about consequences?

In the United States, statistics are all over the map. Some studies tell us that more than 90 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Other studies indicate that the number of babies aborted because of a DS diagnosis is far less. But the truth is that no matter what statistical percentage is used and no matter the diagnosis, each and every baby should be protected. As far as other anomalies are concerned, we really do not know how many babies are killed because of prenatal diagnoses, but even one is too many!

Furthermore, just like the heartbeat abortion ban or any other proposed ban on specific types of abortion, none of them pass the 100 percent smell test when it comes to saving every baby every time. Such bills are either laden with an exception or two or they are so exclusive that they leave far too many babies out of the safety net. Or to put it another way, babies not protected by such proposals can still be aborted 24/7, 365 days a year.

That sort of thing makes no sense at all. And it is my hope that it makes no sense to you.

We should remember this: The law will only protect preborn babies when we the people decide that we know and understand that equal rights, human rights, civil rights, and above all the inalienable right to life do not belong to just some segments of humankind and not others. By virtue of the fact that a human being is a person of equal stature, these rights should be protected for every human being—every individual—without exception from his or her biological beginning until death.

Anything less than that is inconceivable because, as we know, each and every one of us as human beings was created in the image and likeness of God. There are no exceptions in His playbook, and there should be none in ours.

Preborn babies are already protected by the law—God’s law. Let’s make God’s law the status quo in America, and let’s get to work on that now.


Spread the joy by teaching truth! Join American Life League in defiance of the culture of our day—this culture of death. Through your actions and words, become a part of our movement to build a culture of life. Pray, be informed, and educate others.

For pro-life information, go to

For pro-life educational tools, including unit studies on human dignity and the preciousness of every life, visit

Learn how parents can effectively protect their children from propaganda in the classroom; go to