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South Dakota Gov. Noem says next week she’ll propose ban on Down syndrome abortion

Governor has been vocal opponent of abortion

Updated: January 24, 2021 - 12:28pm

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South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem on Saturday announced that she plans to propose a bill to her state's legislature that would outlaw abortion on the basis of a Down syndrome diagnoses.

Statistics indicate that prenatal Down syndrome diagnoses result in high rates of aborted pregnancies — possibly as high as nine of every 10 in some countries.

Noem had earlier this month signaled that she was planning to propose a measure outlawing that practice. On Friday, observing the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, Noem said she "look[s] forward to the day when the Supreme Court recognizes that all preborn children inherently possess a right to life."

"To that end," she wrote on Twitter, "on Monday I will introduce a bill that bans abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis."

In some countries, widely available prenatal testing has led to widespread abortions. In Denmark, for example, reportedly fewer than 20 babies with the syndrome were born in 2019.

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