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lawlifelgbt

Ohio wants to ban abortions based on Down Syndrome

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lawlifelgbt

http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/ ... de-choice/

Ohio wants to ban abortions that are sought based on a fetal diagnosis of Down's syndrome. The disgusting part here is that the Republican legislators are using disability rights language to back this ban. But it's really just an attack on people who need abortions, because, you know, save the babies.

But then this same party keeps cutting social welfare and services to people with disabilities (as a Minnesotan whose dad works with developmentally disabled adults, I can attest this happened under Republican Gov. Pawlenty- thank God for Dayton!) How does that even work.

Also, consider what would happen if this ban came into law and could, hypothetically, be enforced perfectly. The simple stats are that 90% of fetuses with DS diagnoses get aborted. So, if you ban abortion, even in one state, based on DS, and drastically lower that rate to near zero, you would have several times more the people with this condition, in society.

Of course, once born, they deserve care, education, nutrition, housing, etc. But group homes, services, special education, etc. cost the parents, schools, and taxpayers huge amounts of money. Besides those direct costs, you have stress to the families and teachers, and the fact that without more education funding, it's likely that schools would have to put a larger proportion of funds into special ed, increasing class sizes, decreasing additional opportunities, etc. for all the other kids at school.

How much would you want to bet that these Republicans would then bitch about those increased costs and cut them more? In addition, I'm not even sure that state budgets could adequately meet those needs should the population with this disability increase ninefold. It then really seems cruel to say, effectively "You have the right to be born, but we can't then afford to help you at all!" A life just sitting there doesn't seem like much. I don't think these legislators have considered quality of life issues too.

They're just backing a complete trainwreck in 20 years or less (when born and in/finishing school).

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doggie

they want the chicken and the egg at the same time.abortion and no birth control.

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Idolatry

"everyone wants to be born perfect and none of us are." LOL. Whatever you say buddy.

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FoxyMoxie

Though I find this to be awful, a lot of disability rights activists DO want aborting for disability reasons banned or very restricted (I am involved in disability rights circles, mostly chronic pain/chronic illness/mental health ones). I can empathise with them even though I disagree, but I find it a lot harder to do so in a US context where disability welfare/support funding is so poor (I am in the UK). Like obviously people will abort if there's zero support for parents of disabled children! People can't raise their children on thin air. I find it telling that the Paralympics are barely televised in the US. In the UK they're treated as equal to the Olympics.

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Sundaymorning

I am absolutely pro-choice. Not because I like abortions, but because I firmly support the mothers freedom to choose if she wants to put her own body through a pregnancy or not. Her body, her choice.

I think it's very dangerous if lawmakers want to decide what a good enough reason for having an abortion is.

So, you can't have one anymore if you don't feel capable of raising a child with DS? But it's still ok to have one if your child would probably be healthy, but you right now aren't at a point in your life where you feel able to go through a pregnancy or can't raise a child but don't want to give it up for adoption?

That really doesn't make any sense at all.

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ILoveJellybeans

And yet they are not aiming to reform the healthcare system so people with disabilities (or with disabled children) are not struggling to get by because they have to pay millions for therapies, medication and surgery to keep them going?

What is someone to do if they are unemployed (or have a really bad job), living in poverty, get pregnant and find that their baby will have a disability and will need expensive care? How will they help? Cause they don't support welfare, or anything that will support the poor, or anything really that is truly pro family, like things to help schools, or children...Or what if the kid grows up to be unable to work? They want to cut money to people who are unemployed, and stop giving people "handouts". And how is someone supposed to get medical care if they cant work?

They want to stop abortion, but they sure make it hard to raise a child, especially if you are poor, which is a reason why a lot of people abort-financially they cant raise a child. They didn't think this through, did they?

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crazyforkate

I believe in better education and better understanding of the options available to them (and, obviously, MORE OPTIONS to begin with), so that parents will have a better understanding of raising a child with a disability. But stopping an abortion because of the perceived reason? That's fraught with complications. Everyone's situation is so utterly personal that it's difficult to declare it unilaterally wrong. I truly believe that encouragement and an aim at a better quality of life is the way to go, not a blanket ban.

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momof2treasures

Not sure how this is enforceable. How can they prove why a person is aborting? Or is this a ban on abortions in the second trimester?I don't get it.

I have a child with a genetic abnormality and I'm still pro choice on this issue. I don't see anyone can judge a person in this situation. If a person can't or is unwilling to provide for a child with disabilities then how is it beneficial to force them to have the baby anyway? Life is harder when you are disabled, let's not throw in being unwanted as well.

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paganhomeschooler

Ugh, Ohio just keeps getting worse and worse. They're closing down several of the largest local DD programs here. I've got a close friend that works at one, and it serves many people with DS. She said there are 60-70 yo men who have been there for decades who will now lose their day program (woodworkers, who love what they do) because the doors are being closed. She says it's hard enough on them when they have a snow day, and this will just be devastating to them. But, yeah, lets throw a bunch more people who need help but aren't going to get it into the mix. Not to mention, they're practically begging people to be fosters. There are billboards and signs up all over, commercials on TV, just begging people to sign up to foster/adopt children who aren't typically developing infant/toddlers. It's all just a hot mess. I will certainly be doing my part in May and November to try to get these nut jobs out of places of power.

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GeoBQn

I have a friend who works as an aide for the local school district's transitions program. She helps adults aged 18-21 with developmental disabilities acquire life and job skills so they can attain some degree of independence. It's a full-time job, and yet she makes less than $20,000/year. She just applied to go on food stamps, and she is constantly looking for new jobs. The school district is constantly looking for ways to cut the budget. They wanted to move the program to a lower-cost building, even though it would have been far away from a bus route and bus riding is an important part of their lessons.

Forcing families to continue pregnancies they personally feel they cannot handle, combined with cutting and diminishing the quality of resources for those families, only serves to make everyone miserable--workers, communities, parents, and most of all the children themselves.

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2xx1xy1JD

I can't comprehend any world in which cutting services can possibly make sense at the same time that you would support this law.

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lawlifelgbt
Not to mention, they're practically begging people to be fosters. There are billboards and signs up all over, commercials on TV, just begging people to sign up to foster/adopt children who aren't typically developing infant/toddlers. It's all just a hot mess. I will certainly be doing my part in May and November to try to get these nut jobs out of places of power.

So they're begging for fosters...but you can't foster or adopt if you're gay either! Figure that one out. Mrs. lawlife and I can't move back to her family in Ohio because no gay marriage, but an adoption ban is almost worse. Leaves kids to languish and can put children with two loving LGBTQ parents in legal jeopardy in situations where only one parent, not both, might have legal rights/ties to the kid. (And statistically, gay men have been shown to be more likely to adopt older children).

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nausicaa
Not sure how this is enforceable. How can they prove why a person is aborting? Or is this a ban on abortions in the second trimester?I don't get it.

I have a child with a genetic abnormality and I'm still pro choice on this issue. I don't see anyone can judge a person in this situation. If a person can't or is unwilling to provide for a child with disabilities then how is it beneficial to force them to have the baby anyway? Life is harder when you are disabled, let's not throw in being unwanted as well.

Yeah, I have no idea how you can determine exactly why a person is aborting. Couldn't the woman just say she changed her mind, and she isn't in a place where she feels stable enough to have a child? Even if she's married and making six figures? I don't know how this could be enforced without opening the doors to tons of limitations the state could make on who gets to have an abortion (i.e., only single women making under a certain amount income).

And to your second point: abso-friggin'-lutely. This is just a recipe for caregiver abuse and actually makes me really sad at the thought of those children, who would generally be even more helpless than a developmentally standard child would be.

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Idolatry

Yeah, I have no idea how you can determine exactly why a person is aborting. Couldn't the woman just say she changed her mind, and she isn't in a place where she feels stable enough to have a child? Even if she's married and making six figures? I don't know how this could be enforced without opening the doors to tons of limitations the state could make on who gets to have an abortion (i.e., only single women making under a certain amount income).

And to your second point: abso-friggin'-lutely. This is just a recipe for caregiver abuse and actually makes me really sad at the thought of those children, who would generally be even more helpless than a developmentally standard child would be.

That's why the law targets the doctors. As a doctor, would you be willing to risk your career and your whole livelihood on this?

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DGayle

Who do they think carries a baby long enough to find out if the baby likely has DS only to flippantly abort? If someone's that heartless, they wouldn't have been good parents anyway. If it's someone who wanted the baby, then it's going to be a heartbreaking decision based on what they feel capable of providing. I probably would abort, and it would kill me, but I know my limitations. I know a lot of families are happy to have the people they love, but they either struggle every day to access services, or are rich enough to not need help to pay. A family I know who is/was quiverfull has 8 kids, and the last has DS (I think they're purposefully not conceiving another because it's been 3 years without a new baby and they're only 31 and 33), and even though they have a lot of money, they still struggle, and the older 7 kids are feeling it. The parents smile and smile, but you can tell it's wearing them down. I'm happy for the families who can do it any length of time, but the reality is, even with some help, a lot of people can't. And when the parents die, what's going to happen? Especially if the siblings can't or aren't willing to step in? The whole "better disabled than dead" is shortsighted because it doesn't take into account how a lot of disabled people will never get their needs met in any way, and how many end up in neglectful (whether by choice of the family or just a lack of options) or intentionally abusive situations. We can't say better disabled than dead until they are plenty or services to make sure people with these disabilities are guaranteed to be properly supported their entire lives. Until then, nobody has any right to even think about condemning people who make such a hard decision because they've thought about what it really means to bring a profoundly disabled person into this world.

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Idolatry
Who do they think carries a baby long enough to find out if the baby likely has DS only to flippantly abort? If someone's that heartless, they wouldn't have been good parents anyway.

The blood test can be done at 10 weeks now, so it can even be a really early choice. Thankfully, I've never had to make this choice. I can't even imagine judging someone who has.

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Coco

A disabled child can also hamper the life of the caregiver. Remember that story about the (iirc) older sister of more than one disabled child - she pretended to be a beautiful girl online and had relationships with guys over the phone? I think it was a Dateline story, but i'm not sure. The girl (actually in her 30's i think) wasn't able to have an independent life or spend much time on her own self-care and ended up living a pretend life to escape the situation she found herself in, as a way to cope with caregiver stress. In the novel Christy real life as a poor Appalachian family caring for a severely disabled child is shown to be incredibly disturbing. The horrible conditions are from a true story. Then there's Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird. We don't have to look very far back into history to know how this would be harmful to families and society without a huge expansion of social services.

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SassyPants
And yet they are not aiming to reform the healthcare system so people with disabilities (or with disabled children) are not struggling to get by because they have to pay millions for therapies, medication and surgery to keep them going?

What is someone to do if they are unemployed (or have a really bad job), living in poverty, get pregnant and find that their baby will have a disability and will need expensive care? How will they help? Cause they don't support welfare, or anything that will support the poor, or anything really that is truly pro family, like things to help schools, or children...Or what if the kid grows up to be unable to work? They want to cut money to people who are unemployed, and stop giving people "handouts". And how is someone supposed to get medical care if they cant work?

They want to stop abortion, but they sure make it hard to raise a child, especially if you are poor, which is a reason why a lot of people abort-financially they cant raise a child. They didn't think this through, did they?

That's the big problem with GOP. Generally anti -BC and and BC coverage, anti- choice, anti- government programs, anti subsidized HC, anti money for schools...you cannot make every being conceived be born and then be anti every means to care and provide for all these living beings.

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lawlifelgbt

Agreed, Coco! Without major expansion and funding, people cannot and should not be expected to never abort based on a disability. In order to give enough scarce financial, social, educational, and family resources to the disabled people currently alive, a large increase in those numbers simply cannot be handled. That position isn't the same as saying "You don't deserve to live." We hate to put money values on a life, but that's sometimes the unfortunate reality.

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Johanna25

Another problem I am becoming aware of as I am aging is worries by friends with DS children about what will become of them when they are gone, financially and emotionally. The ones in better shape are those who worked to get their children into independent living situations while still young. Those who kept them at home have to worry about the child feeling abandoned after their parents die. They may or may not have siblings willing and able to take over.

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nausicaa

That's why the law targets the doctors. As a doctor, would you be willing to risk your career and your whole livelihood on this?

Maybe I'm thick, but still, can't the patient just give the doctor another reason for the abortion, ergo the doctor can't get into trouble? I mean, all the doc would have to say is, "Just so you know, I can't perform abortions if the only reason for it is because the fetus has tested positively for Downs." Then any thinking person could just come up with another reason. Just because someone chooses to have an abortion after a diagnosis of Downs doesn't necessarily mean the person is aborting because of the diagnosis (I mean, I understand this is usually the reason, but how could that be proven in court?)

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sparkles

Remember the flap about how the ACA was going to mean we'd have "death panels" making health care decisions? Well, no surprise that never came to pass but what do we get now, tribunals to determine the validity of a woman's decision to abort FOR WHATEVER REASON?

It really is turning into a death by inches for women's rights in this country. My daughter has no interest in having children and I can't see that her feelings will ever change. But honestly, I'm glad she prefers to remain child-free since it's far better than becoming an incubator for the state, which is the way things are going.

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Idolatry

Maybe I'm thick, but still, can't the patient just give the doctor another reason for the abortion, ergo the doctor can't get into trouble? I mean, all the doc would have to say is, "Just so you know, I can't perform abortions if the only reason for it is because the fetus has tested positively for Downs." Then any thinking person could just come up with another reason. Just because someone chooses to have an abortion after a diagnosis of Downs doesn't necessarily mean the person is aborting because of the diagnosis (I mean, I understand this is usually the reason, but how could that be proven in court?)

As a doctor, would you want to be arrested and go to trial to test that? This would take tens of thousands of dollars and years, assuming you even win.

Isn't it easier to send that patient the next state over?

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ADoyle90815

Yeah, I have no idea how you can determine exactly why a person is aborting. Couldn't the woman just say she changed her mind, and she isn't in a place where she feels stable enough to have a child? Even if she's married and making six figures? I don't know how this could be enforced without opening the doors to tons of limitations the state could make on who gets to have an abortion (i.e., only single women making under a certain amount income).

And to your second point: abso-friggin'-lutely. This is just a recipe for caregiver abuse and actually makes me really sad at the thought of those children, who would generally be even more helpless than a developmentally standard child would be.

Exactly. This can lead to caregiver abuse, and more cases of parents abandoning their child with a disability. Then, there's the issue of what happens to someone with a disability like DS when the caregiver dies, and they have no siblings who are willing or able to care for them.

Another thing is that many people with DS also have heart conditions, often shortening the person's life or requiring open heart surgery when still an infant. Those who want to ban abortions for DS also don't want to provide health insurance for them after they're born and might need that heart surgery.

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2xx1xy1JD

I read the actual proposed legislation.

My conclusion? A totally cynical attempt to gain votes from interest groups without doing a thing that will actually help anyone with DS, and while doing precious little that would actually prevent any abortion.

They know that it will be challenged Constitutionally. These representatives can then claim with a straight face that they tried, but it was struck down.

They also know that penalizing pregnant women will get it struck down, so they target doctors instead.

IF it passed, there would be a general chill on abortions after 12 weeks, because of the risk. Actually proving that DS diagnosis was the SOLE reason for the abortion AND that the physician performing the abortion knew this would be extremely difficult. The physician just needs to include a statement that DS was not the sole reason for the abortion in the abortion report. There's nothing that would prevent a woman from going out of state, nor is there anything that would stop her from looking for a doctor who didn't know about the prenatal diagnosis.

If anyone was actually interested in helping people with DS and preventing DS-related abortions, the logical thing to do would be to assure families that adequate services would be in place so that their kids, regardless of disability, would get the health care, educational support and additional services needed without undue burden on the family, and that appropriate services would also be in place for when the kids grown into adults so that they could have employment, recreating and educational opportunities and supported living outside of their parents' home. You could then provide basic counseling and information packages at the time of any genetic testing detailing exactly what services are available.

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