Committee Votes to Stop the Prenatal Targeting of Babies with Down syndrome

November 18, 2019 | 3 comments | Posted in abortion, Disability Rights, Life | Tags: ,

PA Family Institute applauds vote on House Bill 321 and the effort to end the targeting of babies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Pennsylvania Family Institute applauds today’s vote by the PA Senate Health Committee on the Down Syndrome Protection Act, House Bill 321, as another step towards truly celebrating people with Down syndrome in Pennsylvania.

“Today’s vote, along with the passage by the PA House, sends a compassionate message to Pennsylvania communities that no human being should be targeted for death by abortion because of a disability.” says Michael Geer, President of the Pennsylvania Family Institute. “We are thankful for the leadership of Senator Scott Martin (R-Lancaster), Senator Judy Ward (R-Blair) and Representative Kate Klunk (R-York) in sponsoring this legislation, for Senator Michele Brooks (R-Mercer) and her leadership in the Senate Health Committee and for all the Senators who voted in favor of this much-needed legislation.”

The Down Syndrome Protection Act would prohibit an abortion solely based on a diagnosis of possible Down syndrome, and would augment the Pennsylvania law that already prohibits abortions solely based on the sex of the baby. Families across Pennsylvania join international disability rights champions such as Joni Eareckson Tada and Karen Gaffney in strongly supporting this legislation.

“Countries like Iceland and Denmark are aborting nearly every child diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb,” comments Dan Bartkowiak, Director of Communications for the Pennsylvania Family Institute. “Here in America, we’re trending towards Iceland with the majority of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome being aborted. Pennsylvania is better than this. Let’s stop medical professionals from coercing women to abort their child solely because of Down syndrome, and let’s truly celebrate people with Down syndrome for the wonderful contributions they make to our state.”

Under current Pennsylvania law, a woman can obtain an abortion prior to 24 weeks gestational age for any reason if a physician deems it is necessary, except if the woman’s sole reason is to select the sex of the child. This bill would simply expand that exception.

The PA House of Representatives already passed HB321 back in May by a 117-76 vote. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

“We call on the Senate to pass this important legislation to stop this form of eugenics by protecting the most vulnerable among our citizens.”

3 Comments

helen M macminn

i need to know what senators voted against the down syndrome protection act…..can you get me the list of Senators?

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