Analysis

Pennsylvania House passes Down syndrome abortion ban

Down syndrome

A bill that would ban abortions for a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome has passed the Pennsylvania House and is now on its way to the Health and Human Services Committee in the Senate. House Bill 1500 received 120 votes in favor, with 83 representatives voting against it. While the majority of Democrats voted against it, a group of 10 pro-life Democrats broke with their party and voted in support of the bill.

Rep. Kate Klunk introduced the bill, which she said is necessary because of the injustice visited upon children with Down syndrome in the womb. “We truly have a responsibility to stand up for those who do not have a voice,” she said. “We have a responsibility to say an unborn child who has received a Down syndrome diagnosis has a right to life and should not be discriminated against simply because they have one extra chromosome.” Yet many Democrats disagreed.

READ: Patricia Heaton: Orphans with Down syndrome and disabilities are ‘beautiful children’

“It is an abortion ban,” Rep. Leanne Krueger, a Democrat, told FOX43. “I just want to be clear. Any attempt to ban abortion for a reason is really an attempt to roll back access to healthcare here in Pennsylvania.” Rep. Dan Frankel, another Democrat, claimed, “House Bill 1500 makes it a crime to think and consider options.”

Dan Bartkowiak of the Pennsylvania Family Institute said the problems were with the medical industry not giving women options. “I think the main issue we have right now in Pennsylvania, [is that] there are families that are being pressured by medical professionals, doctors, genetic counselors, to have an abortion upon the diagnosis of Down syndrome, and that’s wrong, and it shouldn’t happen.”

 

Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) applauded the politicians who had the bravery to go against their party and vote for the right to life of children in the womb, despite what they called “incredible pressure from their own party.” In a Facebook post celebrating the vote, the group wrote, “Having one extra chromosome shouldn’t disqualify you from living.”

Planned Parenthood opposes the bill. “Here in Pennsylvania, there is already a shortage of abortion providers. If you look at central PA, it is hard to access abortion. That is placing the burden on patients to access health care,” Samantha Bobila, Chief External Affairs Officer, Planned Parenthood Keystone said. “It’s all very concerning to us. We’re still in a pandemic. We should be focused on expanding health care.”

Despite these claims, abortion is not health care because abortion is a deliberate act of killing — the opposite of true health care.

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