The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has passed House Bill 1500 which would ban abortions for a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, moving the measure to the state’s Health and Human Services Committee in the Senate.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vowed to veto this bill and others, saying that is any “anti-selection bill comes to my desk, I reject it”
Ten pro-life Democrats joined Republicans to pass the bill 120-83.
“It is a restriction on women and health professionals and hinders women’s health care and important decisions between patients and their doctors,” Wolf said.
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.”
“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.”
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.”
Lawmakers also submitted a bill requiring medical facilities to bury or cremate the body of a fetal body after a miscarriage or abortion. The family can still arrange for themselves, but they have to bear the cost.