Abortion Debate Continues | VideoJessica Roose | 3/12/2013
Each year in the United States, about 6,000 babies are born with Down Syndrome, according to the Center for Disease Control.
"She has aspirations like everyone else. She loves life, she values her privileges, she fears death. She`s simply a person with traits like the rest of us," said parent Bill Schuh.
Schuh spoke about his daughter in support of a statewide ban on abortions in cases of genetic abnormalities.
"One of the most dangerous human traits is our infinite ability to rationalize our own self interest when confronted with something that may cause us inconvenience," he said.
It`s that inconvenience that supporters say lead to around 90 percent of Down Syndrome babies being aborted when it is found they have a genetic abnormality.
Rep. Bette Grande: "A ban on abortions preformed solely because a child has down syndrome or genetic abnormalities affirms a policy of non-discrimination," said Representative Bette Grande (R) from Fargo.
However, opponents say some genetic abnormalities are more severe than Down Syndrome and are incompatible with life.
"Such as anencephaly, it is a condition in which the brain never forms. The brain and skull are absent in various degrees, although a malformed face tends to form. This usually causes death within hours or days, if not before birth," said Minot State University Biology Professor Alexandra Deufel.
Deufel says the decision to carry a child to term with these types of genetic abnormalities should be left up to the parents.
"We don`t live in a world that is black and white. There are many gray areas and state legislators can not legislate for every eventuality."
The bill also would ban abortions in cases of gender selection.
The debate will continue. Tomorrow members of the House Human Services committee will hear testimony on four other abortion related bills.