Testimony for Missouri Senate – SB 802

It’s my understanding that the head of NARAL – Missouri will read this Testimony at a Senate Hearing for SB 802, a bill that make it illegal to have an abortion after a pre-natal diagnosis.

My testimony:
I am the father of a boy with Down syndrome and am opposed to SB 802. This bill will not lower rates of abortion following a pre-natal diagnosis nor will it help people with Down syndrome.

1) The best way to prevent abortions after a prenatal diagnosis is to make the words “Down syndrome” less scary. These bills will make it harder, even criminal, to talk about Down syndrome and abortion.

2) The Down syndrome community broadly supports non-partisan pro-information legislation. We want parents who get a diagnosis to get the best possible information. Criminalizing abortion based on a prenatal diagnosis will just make it harder to talk about these issues. Missouri passed a pro-information bill in 2007 (L. 2007 H.B. 818 ยง 191.912). It should fully fund that bill.

3) Every day people with Down syndrome are exceeding the boundaries of what we thought possible in education, jobs, personal lives, and contributions to the community. All efforts should be focused on telling these stories and bringing these opportunities to more people. 

4) We know that many women terminate pregnancies after a prenatal diagnosis because they believe they cannot afford to raise a child with Down syndrome. The best way to change that is to better fund special education, healthcare, respite care, and all the other support services that our community needs.

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