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Bill to ban abortions for Down syndrome takes step in Senate

June 13, 2018

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A proposal to prohibit abortions in Pennsylvania when the sole reason is that the fetus has or may have Down syndrome is advancing in the Republican-controlled state Senate.

The bill won passage in the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party line basis Wednesday. It passed the Republican-majority House in April by a comfortable margin, 139 to 56, but Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf opposes it.

Supporters say it would protect a vulnerable population. Opponents respond that it would violate the right of women to make their own decisions about abortion and caution against forcing parents to raise children with the genetic chromosomal disorder.

Pennsylvania law allows abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy for any reason except to choose the gender.

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