GOP rep shares story of brother with Down syndrome, condemns abortions

GOP rep shares story of brother with Down syndrome, condemns abortions
© Greg Nash

Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksFreedom Caucus members see openings in leadership AP Analysis: 25 state lawmakers running in 2018 have been accused of sexual misconduct Jordan weathering political storm, but headwinds remain MORE (R-Ariz.), in an op-ed on Wednesday, describes his love for a deceased brother who had Down syndrome and speaks out against abortions based on anticipated physical or mental disabilities.

"Even though his IQ was approximately 60, his common sense, his theological depth, his delight for life, and his unfeigned love for God, his family, and absolutely everyone constantly astonished us all," Franks wrote in the Washington Examiner about his brother, Bruce, who died earlier this year.

"The poignancy of that loss and the pricelessness of my memories of him wash over my heart in this very moment," the Arizona Republican wrote. "I remember that he wanted so badly for me to win the election and repeatedly told me with resolute certainty that I would. His prediction was especially significant in that it was shared by so few and by the fact that Bruce had Down syndrome."

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Franks also said he felt heartbroken after reading a controversial CBS News report in which a geneticist said Iceland is “eradicating” children with Down syndrome through abortions as if it were "some great feat on behalf of humanity.”

"What Iceland is really doing is perpetuating the abhorrent eugenics philosophy of eliminating 'unfit' or 'impaired' persons from their society through systematic murder," Franks wrote. "Of course, the Icelandic government is not mandating these babies be killed. But through mandatory prenatal notification, the government makes it clear that the official and societal norm is for women to murder their child if he or she has Down syndrome," he added.

Franks pointed to the slippery slope of attempting to engineer a society through sterilizing those “with the physical and mental disabilities, poverty, over-population, and unwantedness in general” and condemned abortions of any kind.

“On the pro-life side, the logic of our position is easily discernible — an unborn child, even if they have Down syndrome, is a person, and person's life is valuable and should be cherished no matter what the attending challenges. Human life is an unspeakable gift and precious beyond understanding, regardless of whether that life is ‘wanted,’ ” Franks said.