Utah ban on Down syndrome abortion passes Senate, heads to governor’s desk

Down syndrome

The Utah Senate has now joined the state House in passing a bill banning abortions for Down syndrome, just two weeks after the bill passed in the state House. According to the Associated Press, the bill now awaits Governor Gary Herbert’s signature, noting, “Herbert declined to immediately say if he would sign the measure during his monthly news conference on KUED-TV, but said he’s generally ‘a pro-life guy.'”

The bill would only go into effect, according to a previous article from the AP, “if a similar law is upheld in court, a provision added to address concerns that it could embroil the state in an expensive lawsuit.”

As noted in a previous article by Live Action News regarding the passage of the bill in the Utah House:

The Daily Wire reports that the bill “would make seeking a Down syndrome-specific abortion a Class A misdemeanor.” Currently, the Supreme Court is yet to determine whether they will hear an appeal on an Indiana law banning abortions on preborn children because of Down syndrome.

READ: Nigeria pushes screening to eliminate preborn babies with Down syndrome

Families of persons with Down syndrome have spoken out publicly in favor of the bill. According to the Salt Lake Tribune:

Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, the sponsor of HB166, testified that she hears from many parents of children with Down syndrome who report that their doctors initially suggested abortion after the prenatal genetic test results came back. Her proposal would use education — and a potential ban on procedures conducted solely because of a Down syndrome diagnosis — to push back.

According to Live Action News’ Cassy Fiano-Chesser, what Lisonbee reports is not an aberration, but the norm:

Only 11 percent of women report that their experience when they received a prenatal diagnosis was a positive one; often, it’s presented in a negative manner. 40 percent of junior fellows said their training in how to deliver a diagnosis was “barely adequate or nonexistent.” Women are often given inaccurate and out-of-date information. 13 percent of doctors admitted to emphasizing the negative aspects of Down syndrome in an effort to encourage women to get an abortion. One in four women even said that their doctors pressured them to have an abortion….

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 20-6.

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