By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
June 10, 2021
A 27-20 party-line vote in the Senate, HB 453 – Human Life Non-Discrimination Act/No Eugenics, cleared its final vote in the state legislature on Thursday and was sent to the Governor.
This critical pro-life legislation would prohibit race and Down Syndrome-selective abortions.
Five female Senators carried the debate on the Senate floor, which lasted for approximately a half-hour.
Sen. Joy Krawiec (R-Forsyth), the bill’s champion, appealed to Republicans and Democrats to vote for the measure because it would eliminate the atrocity of discrimination in the womb, she said.
“Children should not have to pass a genetic test to earn the right to be born,” argued Krawiec.
Krawiec added the current practice of sex-selective abortions based on race or because an unborn child has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, which is often an incorrect diagnosis, is in principle, no different from the Eugenics practiced at a dark time in North Carolina’s history.
Senator Sarah Crawford (D-Wake) said she had been the CEO of a non-profit working with families of children who had disabilities. She argued that abortion restrictions were not the answer, but more state budget appropriations were necessary to expand services and programs to the families of disabled children. Crawford opined:
“Colleagues, if we want to get serious about walking with women through their journey of a prenatal diagnosis, the prescription is not to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. The prescription is funding for services, information for families and comfort for families in knowing that their child will have access to education therapies, and the medical support that they need.”
Sen. Joyce Waddell (D-Mecklenburg) complained that males dominated the General Assembly, and the issue before them was “a female issue.” She said the bill was about “reproductive justice,” something she claimed it directly opposed. She added the measure was only disguised as a racial justice matter, but in reality, was only an attempt to further interfere with a woman’s right to choose.
“As is the case with all anti-abortion legislation, black and brown communities and poor people broadly will suffer from the loss of its implementation,” said Waddell. “While HB 453 may appear to care about racial discrimination, from what we’ve seen and experienced, it does not support racial equality.”
Waddell then added if proponents of the measure were concerned about oppressed people, they would support the kinds of bills that would provide them with public assistance, such as Medicaid.
Sen. Natalie Murdock (D-Durham) made similar arguments as her other Democratic women colleagues against the bill. However, much of her speech against HB 453 took issue with the measure being framed as a Eugenics issue. She argued the state eugenics program was based on coercion and not freedom of choice as abortion.
Krawiec countered that notion by giving the Merriam-Webster definition of Eugenics: “the practice or advocacy of controlled selective breeding of human populations (as by sterilization) to improve the population’s genetic composition.”
“Pure and simple this bill is about eugenics,” said Krawiec. “And it simply says that North Carolina will no longer engage in that practice.”
Perhaps the strongest and most passionate argument made in favor of the legislation was offered by Sen. Amy Galey (R-Alamance). Galey contended:
“Women have a long list of reasons that they do not want to become a mother, financial instability, other life priorities, an abusive relationship with a partner, a decision on that woman’s part that she’s not in a position in life to become a mother. Today, we are not talking about those kinds of situations. We’re talking about women who knew that they were pregnant, who did not seek an abortion early in their pregnancy.
“Colleagues, these are children that were wanted until the parents found out they were a certain kind of child. They wanted to have a certain kind of child, not a child that had something quote ‘wrong’ with them. So we’re not talking about women who don’t want any child. We’re talking about a woman who doesn’t want this child. This is one human being, considering the value of another individual human being and deciding that particular life does not have any value. This is one individual person who is not wanted because of discriminatory assumptions about the value of that person…
“Can we not see that this is a huge leap? It’s a leap from saying that a person doesn’t want any child to a person making a decision; she doesn’t want this child. It’s one person deciding the life of another person has no value. It is discrimination, and it is wrong. It’s a position that is and has at its heart a misunderstanding, at best, and contempt, at worst, for people who have Down Syndrome. So let’s speak the truth today and call it for what it is.”
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said he found the remarks made by those against the bill very difficult to hear.
“I wonder if these are the same arguments these people will use when they stand before the bar of God’s judgment, and great hosts of aborted Down Syndrome babies witness against them for their vote against the bill,” said Rev. Creech. “I can’t understand why some feel throwing government money at a problem could ever substitute for protecting and preserving a person’s God-given right to life. Nothing takes precedence over life.
“If the right to life is denied, all other rights are unsafe. If they can take one’s life because of race, if they can take one’s life because of disability, if they can discriminate as to who lives and dies because of the burden they create, then how soon before they possibly come for you and me?”