State Watch

Pennsylvania House passes bill banning abortions for Down syndrome

The Pennsylvania House on Monday passed a bill to ban abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis in the fetus. 

The GOP-backed bill passed with bipartisan support in a 139-56 vote, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote. If it passes, it will face Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who opposes the bill and would be expected to veto it, according to the paper. Wolf also vetoed a 20-week abortion ban in December.

Ohio passed a similar bill on Down syndrome abortions late last year, which GOP Gov. John Kasich signed in December, making the state the third to have such a law.

The Ohio law is facing multiple legal challenges, and a federal judge has temporarily blocked the law from taking effect, saying that it is an unconstitutional violation of abortion rights.

{mosads}The Pennsylvania bill bans abortions based on “a prenatal diagnosis of, or belief that the unborn child has, Down syndrome.”

Pennsylvania House Speaker Rep. Mike Turzai (R) sponsored the bill, and another member of the House argued it is an effort to prevent “eugenics.”

Opponents of the bill say that it is an infringement on reproductive rights, and that it would effectively result in “state-imposed” pregnancy.

Pennsylvania state law currently allows for abortions for any reason, except for gender of the fetus, until 24 weeks.


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