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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 3, 2018 02:31 PM
From: Senator Scott Martin
To: All Senate members
Subject: Down Syndrome Protection Legislation
I plan to reintroduce Senate Bill 1050, which will amend the Abortion Control Act to prohibit the abortion of any child solely due to a diagnosis of possible Down syndrome.

Under current law, a woman can obtain an abortion prior to 24 weeks gestational age for any reason if a physician deems it is necessary, except if the woman’s sole reason is to select the sex of the child. This bill will expand that exception to prohibit aborting the child solely due to a prenatal diagnosis that the unborn child may have Down syndrome. Nothing in this proposal would interfere with the existing ability of a woman to obtain an abortion in cases of rape, incest or endangerment to the mother.

Just as gender cannot be a reason for abortion, neither should a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Most of us know of a family touched by a Down syndrome child, and know these children grow to lead joyful and fulfilling lives. Some studies show that as many as 90% of children diagnosed in utero with Down are aborted. This practice is a parallel to the expanded use of eugenics in Nazi Germany and has been widely condemned.

Although Act 130 of 2014, known as Chloe's Law, made progress educating parents regarding the quality of life that a person with Down syndrome can enjoy, the abortion rate for children with Down syndrome is still too high. It is time to protect Down syndrome children in the womb.

Cosponsors of Senate Bill 1050 were Senators Scarnati, DiSanto, Aument, Folmer, White, Eichelberger, Hutchinson, Alloway, Vulakovich, Ward, Mensch, Scavello, Wagner, Stefano, Regan, and Yaw.

Please join me in supporting this incredibly important legislation.

Introduced as SB21