Palin: Down syndrome no reason for abortion

Story highlights

  • For Palin, whose own son, Trig, has Down syndrome, this particular issue touches close to home
  • "I don't think because the child has one extra chromosome they should be able to snuff that life out," Palin said

Washington (CNN)Sarah Palin wants Ohio Gov. John Kasich to take a stand on a bill currently being debated in his state that would ban abortion in cases where the fetus is diagnosed with Down syndrome.

"I don't think because the child has one extra chromosome they should be able to snuff that life out," Palin told CNN's Jake Tapper in an interview that aired Sunday on "State of the Union."
For the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, Palin, whose own son, Trig, has Down syndrome, this particular issue touches close to home.
    "There is some fear there of the unknown," Palin said. "Certainly, there was fear in my heart about how in the world are we going to be able to handle the challenges up ahead, not necessarily thinking of the beauty that could come from a child being different, being unique."
    Between 60% and 90% of prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis result in abortion, according to a review of termination rates in the United States between 1995 and 2011 conducted by the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis. On Sunday, Palin blamed cultural acceptance for the prevalence of abortions in such cases.
    "Culture has told these women ... you're not capable of being able to handle and nurture and love and raise a child with special needs," she told Tapper.
    Palin's comments come as the Ohio legislature considers a bill that would prohibit abortions in cases involving Down syndrome. Kasich, a 2016 presidential hopeful who opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to preserve the life of the mother, has not yet commented on the bill.
    But the former Alaska governor wishes more people, especially those in favor of abortion rights, could meet kids like Trig.
    "They're amazing, wonderful kids," she said. "They teach us more than we're ever going to be able to teach them."