West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a law Monday that prohibits abortions performed because an unborn baby has a disability, such as a chromosomal disorder like Down syndrome, joining other states that have passed similar bills.
On World Down Syndrome Day, Justice signed Senate Bill 468, which states in part that an abortion “may not be performed because of a disability, except in a medical emergency.”
The definition for disability in the new law includes “the presence or presumed presence of a disability or diagnosis in a fetus including, but not limited to, chromosomal disorders or morphological malformations occurring as the result of atypical gene expressions.”
“Except in a medical emergency or a nonmedically viable fetus, a licensed medical professional may not perform or attempt to perform or induce an abortion, unless the patient acknowledges that the abortion is not being sought because of a disability,” continued SB 468.
“The licensed medical professional shall document these facts in the patient’s chart and report such with the [Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health].”
Justice also signed Senate Bill 647, which prohibits those with disabilities from being discriminated against when seeking an organ transplant.
“[World Down Syndrome Day] made for the perfect day to sign SB 647 and SB 468. Both bills give deserved respect to our Down Syndrome community,” Justice tweeted.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, expressed her support for the law, calling it “a bold step forward today in the fight against eugenic discrimination in America.”
“We are proud to stand with West Virginians, the community of self-advocates and their loved ones calling on our nation to ‘embrace, not erase’ Down Syndrome.”