South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem proposed a bill Tuesday to her state legislature during the state of the state address that would stop children with Down Syndrome from being targeted and exterminated. In her address, Noem told lawmakers she would submit legislation to prohibit abortions in South Dakota based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis.
Across the country and around the world, children with Down Syndrome are aborted at horrifying rates. In the United States, 67 percent of babies prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. In European countries, abortion rates of babies with this diagnosis are as high as 98 percent. In 2018, only 13 children with Down Syndrome were born in the entire state of South Dakota.
“… European countries, like Iceland and Denmark, are on pace to virtually eliminate children with Down syndrome,” said Noem in her address. “They do this one way and one way only: through abortion. As South Dakotans, frankly, as human beings, we should all be appalled by this. We are better than that.”
The governor described the smiles and personalities of Down Syndrome children as “gifts from God.” She astutely reminded everyone that “The Declaration of Independence summarizes what we all know in our hearts to be true. God created each of us and endowed all of us with the right to life. This is true for everyone, including those with an extra chromosome.”
The South Dakota governor invited my one-year-old little sister, Valentina Duffy, who was born with Down Syndrome, to attend her state of the state address. “Their gorgeous smiles, distinct personalities, and that vibrancy you see before you are all gifts from God,” Noem told the legislature, looking up at Valentina and my family in the gallery. “For those who have had the privilege of knowing someone with Down Syndrome, you know that person ends up being a gift to all of us.”
My family and I are truly thankful that Noem has taken on this important life issue, which has a long and disturbing history. The genocide of children with Down Syndrome is a continuation of the eugenics movement that many wrongly assume ended in Nazi Germany. It is selective breeding, unethical, intolerant, and as Noem put it, “appalling.” Despite its repulsive nature, modern eugenics is being pushed by the left in the name of “progressivism” because the Democrat Party is controlled by the abortion lobby.
One need only look at the way Noem held little Valentina close to her heart to know that she is sincere and committed to protecting the lives of those with special needs. She values the sanctity of life and is actively fighting real discrimination and ableism excused by the so-called “tolerant” left. She is one of the few politicians, even among Republicans, who is unapologetically conservative, unabashedly pro-life, and willing to make eugenic abortion a part of her agenda to make South Dakotan families freer and stronger.
The underlying message of her address, and her entire approach to running the state of South Dakota, is the American family. Noem knows that the heart of our country and the key to America’s success is the family.
“Strengthening families, no matter what they look like, is a key element to every decision I make as governor, and I am committed to keeping family at the center of my policy decisions,” said Noem. “The family is the cradle of civil society. Strong families create strong communities. And strong communities will produce the strongest state in the nation.”
As South Dakota’s governor, Noem has refused to shut down her state due to COVID-19, allocating authority to local governments. She is working to boost rural broadband for the 135,000 South Dakotans who do not have high-speed. She has cut taxes and introduced legislation that will teach K-12 South Dakotans about civic responsibility, America’s founding, and South Dakota history. “Students should be taught our nation’s history and all that makes America unique,” stated Noem.
Noem is a wife, mother, Christian, and a lifelong rancher, farmer, and small business owner. Her mission in public life is to uplift the family and promote prosperity by making South Dakota welcoming to business and innovation.
Her defense of the unborn, especially some of the most vulnerable among us, those with Down Syndrome, proves she has her eyes on what matters most— faith and family.