By M. H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
June 3, 2021
During Wednesday’s Senate Health Care Committee meeting at the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh, Senator Joyce Krawiec made a passionate plea to Senate members to pass HB 453-Human Life Non-Discrimination Act/No Eugenics.
Krawiec said approximately 70 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. But she also noted prenatal screening doesn’t always get it right. Krawiec asked: “Should children ever have to pass a genetic test to earn the right just to be born? This is eugenics in its worst form.”
HB 453 would expand the state’s ban on sex-selective abortions to include those performed because of the baby’s race or the presumption that the child has Down Syndrome.
Present for the hearing on the measure was Katie Shaw, who flew from Indianapolis, Indiana, to testify in favor of the bill. Shaw has Down Syndrome and once met with President Trump in the Oval Office as part of a Pro-Life Advisory Board. She also recently spoke in South Dakota about similar legislation and met with Governor Kristi Noem.
“Shaw was hosted by our good friends from the North Carolina Values Coalition,” said Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Her testimony to the committee was quite simple, but amazingly profound. It brought tears to my eyes, and it’s difficult for me to understand how anyone could vote against the measure after hearing Shaw, except that we’ve been grossly desensitized by the erroneous and deceptive arguments of abortion proponents.”
“Just reading her comments,” added Creech, “knowing an individual gave them with Down Syndrome ought to help us see the dignity and worth of every human being made in the image of God. Shaw was pleading for lawmakers to stop allowing discrimination against unborn children with Down Syndrome by letting them be sentenced to death. She was living proof Down Syndrome people can have a wonderful life and be an incredible blessing to many.”
Here’s Shaw’s testimony in full:
“Good morning. My name is Katie Shaw. Thank you for letting me speak with you today. I hope you see why I think House Bill 453 is so important.
“I would like to share a little about my wonderful life. I am 36 years old and from Indianapolis, Indiana. It was 59 degrees in Indiana…then we arrived here last night. I think you beat us into summer!
“My parents found out I had Down Syndrome when mom was pregnant. Thankfully, the doctors never mentioned abortion. They said I would need surgery the day I was born and started planning what would help me have a wonderful life.
“I came home on my mom’s 29th birthday to help her have a wonderful life, and I think, I hope, I have helped many have wonderful lives…just like you! – because you were given the chance!
“I have been given wonderful opportunities like all my friends, with or without Down syndrome. I learned sign language, was a girl scout, played five sports, and managed the High School softball team. I learned piano and violin. I received 1st Holy Communion and was confirmed in my faith.
“I got a certificate of High School completion. I had taken mostly regular ed classes except Math and Economics. Math is not my forte. Then, I got my High School equivalency diploma and then an Early Childhood Associate Certificate from Ivy Tech Community College.
“After five years in childcare, I changed careers and have been in retail over ten years. I love helping the customers. I am on the Board and volunteer at Down Syndrome Indiana. I enter data into the computer, talk with school-age children about how people with disabilities have a lot more in common than different from them, and I have spoken with medical residents about caring for people with Down Syndrome. I helped care for my grandparents when they lived with us – cooking, giving insulin, and whatever they needed when my folks weren’t home. We taught each other a lot about wonderful lives.
“I have a busy life, but it is a wonderful life, probably just like most of you! I share these things because I believe every life is a wonderful gift. But, the older I get, the more I realize not everyone sees that! That is why I wanted to start helping unborn babies especially.
“Some women say that HB 453 is ‘burdening them when they are just trying to get informed decisions about their health care.’ But given a chance, doctors can educate and help the mother see what a wonderful life her baby can have. That would help the mother’s health and the baby’s health!
“‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is a movie about how one man being born helped make the world wonderful for so many! His life wasn’t perfect or go as he had planned. There was sorrow, money problems, illness…But there was so much more of love, happiness, and joy!
“Every person in this room, with or without Down Syndrome, has experienced those things. That is part of each person’s wonderful life!
“Thank you again for letting me speak. I hope you will help pass House Bill 453. Help those with Down Syndrome have a chance, like us, make the world more wonderful.
“I will close with a quote from a wonderful author who said, ‘I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know full well’ (Psalm 139).”
HB 453 cleared two committees on Wednesday. It is expected to be taken up on the Senate floor sometime next week.