Lansing, MI — A ban on targeted abortions was introduced Thursday in the Michigan House.

House Bills 4737 & 4738 would ban abortions targeted at babies not just diagnosed with Down syndrome, but any disability, as well as babies targeted for reasons of sex or racial discrimination.

The bills, sponsored by Rep. Julie Calley and Rep. Andrew Fink, would make it a felony punishable by up to two years in prison for the person who knowingly performs a targeted abortion. The bills define disability as any physical or mental disability, and specifically lists several common disabilities for inclusion.

On April 12, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Ohio’s ban on targeted abortions of children with Down syndrome to be enforced while court challenges continue. Michigan is also under the jurisdiction of the Sixth Circuit.

The following statement can be attributed to Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing:

“With the legal situation in the Sixth Circuit, this is our highest priority, since a targeted abortion ban would be enforceable now. Because the neighboring Fifth Circuit struck down a similar Indiana law, this is an opportunity for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.

Abortion is used as a tool of discrimination on a horrifying scale. We have heard of situations where parents of women in interracial relationships have attempted to convince or coerce their daughters into getting race-selection abortions. More than 160 million women around the globe are missing because of sex-selection abortions. Abortion is wrong, period, but even people who consider themselves pro-choice should have a problem with taking the life of a child because they are a girl or aren’t a desired race.

Some countries boast of all but eliminating certain disabilities by targeting disabled children in the womb. Most people would be horrified of taking the life of a disabled child a day after birth, and they should be equally horrified by the idea of taking that child’s life a day before birth.

Gallup asked a polling question on this in 2018. Only 29% of Americans thought it should be legal to take the life of a child with Down syndrome in the third trimester, and only a minority, 49%, thought it should be legal in the first trimester. Majorities thought abortion should be illegal in the third trimester for mental disabilities or conditions that threaten the life of the child. It’s clear Roe v. Wade and the current state of abortion law is nowhere close to lining up with the views of the American public.

With continuing advances in care for the disabled and new programs like perinatal hospice, there are better options for society to invest in than causing the death of these little ones. A modern society that prides itself on creating equity can’t be a society that allows violently taking the life of a child deemed unworthy of human care because of a physical or mental characteristic.”

For more information: Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Genevieve Marnon, (517) 487-3376,

Background information:
HB 4737
HB 4738
Targeted abortion facts
6th Circuit Ohio ruling
2018 Gallup Poll