HARRISBURG, Pa. | Republicans in the Pennsylvania House voted to push through a bill Tuesday that would ban abortions prompted by a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis.
However, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has vowed to veto it.
“If we support children and individuals with Down syndrome," says Alexis Stefani with the Pennsylvania Family Institute. "Then we must support the Down Syndrome Protection Act.”
The Down Syndrome Protection Act, led by State Rep. Kate Klunk, would prevent a fetus from being aborted due to a prenatal diagnosis of possible Down syndrome.
Many Pennsylvania families say they have been exposed to medical professionals who reportedly pressure them into having an abortion, due to a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
If the bill passes and becomes law, it will require a doctor to provide a written statement before an abortion claiming that the action was not motivated by a prenatal diagnosis or test indicating Down syndrome, should it apply.
The bill would also make it a felony for the doctor to not comply, and the doctor could lose his or her medical license. There is no criminal penalty for the expectant mother, according to the bill.
However, many Democratic leaders oppose the bill.
“This legislation could prevent patients from seeking the information they need to become the best parents possible, when they need it the most,” stated Democratic Rep. Dan Frankel, who opposed the bill.
He later stated the bill, “makes it a crime to think and consider options.”
By a 120-83 vote, the Down Syndrome Protection Act will now move to the Republican-majority state Senate.
Last session, the bill passed with a majority in both the House and Senate, but it was then vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Wolf has said he plans to veto the new version of this bill as well.