Opinion | Iowa Republicans must unite in supporting Inhofe’s new anti-abortion bill

The reasoning behind disability-based abortions ia ableistic. Iowa Republicans must join Joni Ernst in supporting a bill which saves the lives of people with Down syndrome.


Tate Hildyard

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst R-IA speaks at the republican watch party at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020. Republicans from across the state have gathered to watch the results of the 2020 General Election.

Ally Pronina, Opinions Columnist

Everyone should agree with many conservatives’ argument about how discrimination against someone is the womb is wrong. Recently, Joni Ernst signed a bill preventing abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis. Iowa Republicans must support and sign this bill to stop choices rooted in ableism.

Iceland is priding itself in eradicating Down syndrome. Most pregnancies are aborted in this country after a Down syndrome diagnosis. Only one or two babies are born there with Down syndrome yearly, and that is usually because the prenatal tests are inaccurate.

Iceland’s goal of eliminating Down syndrome in their society is not worth allowing eugenics, dehumanization, and ableism. To prevent ableism in the United States, Iowa Republicans must support the new anti-abortion bill.

In the U.S., 67 percent of babies with Down syndrome are aborted. As someone with a genetic disorder, I believe that justifying abortion based on the argument a genetic disorder decreases the quality of life is wrong.

Karen Gaffney is a woman with Down syndrome who swam across the Atlantic Ocean and created a nonprofit organization that advocates for inclusion of others with Down syndrome. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete the Ironman triathlon.

Down syndrome did not prevent these accomplishments, but abortion would have.

There are people with Down syndrome who graduate college like Rion Holocombe. At the University of Iowa, the REACH program provides opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to attend college.

People with Down syndrome are human beings worthy of love. Many individuals — including founder of Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger — have a history of ableist comments. Regardless of your view on abortion, I hope you can understand my disgust at her claim that the greatest sin my parents committed is bringing me into the word because I have a disease.

Research shows with proper support, parents of children with disabilities end up happy and optimistic. Instead of taking a child’s life based on Down syndrome, we should focus on how to help them and their families.

The world needs people who fill it with love, joy, and kindness. We need people who can put a smile on anyone’s face and always know when someone needs a hug. Intellectual disabilities do not prevent someone from being wise when it comes to dealing with people. In fact, students with Down syndrome have high empathy and social understanding.

It’s not true people with Down syndrome can’t make a positive difference in this world if given a chance at life. A state as pro-life as Iowa must support a bill that recognizes chromosomal count should never determine one’s right to live — both of the born and unborn.

I praise God for parents who did not even consider denying me a chance at life just because of my chromosomal count. If not, I wouldn’t be here to write this piece, or be a bookworm who reads Hemingway for fun.

Iowa Republicans must unite against this bill aimed at stopping a cruel and sick form of ableism.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.