PIERRE, South Dakota (STL.News) Today, Governor Kristi Noem released the following statement:
Anyone who has met a child or a person with Down syndrome knows that they are a gift from God. Their beautiful smiles and unique personalities bring such joy and warmth into our lives. And yes, God saw fit to bless these children with an extra chromosome.
Unfortunately, not everyone recognizes these wonderful children for the gift that they are. Recent media reports share the sad reality that some European countries, like Iceland and Denmark, have virtually eliminated children with Down syndrome by aborting nearly every child that has it.
We want to protect children with Down syndrome in South Dakota from being similarly discriminated against just for having an extra chromosome. That’s why I introduced legislation to ban abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Research estimates that two out of every three Down syndrome pregnancies in the United States end in an abortion. And tests to diagnose Down syndrome can be conducted as early as 10 weeks into pregnancy. In South Dakota, we’ve already worked to ban abortions after 20 weeks, and my proposal would protect children with Down syndrome even before that.