NRL News

Bill to ban prenatal discrimination against babies diagnosed with Down syndrome advances in Pa. Senate

by | Jun 22, 2021

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

A bill to protect people with Down syndrome from prenatal discrimination is moving its way through the state legislature.

The Pennsylvania Senate Health and Human Services Committee has advanced House Bill 1500, also known as the Down Syndrome Protection Act. This compassionate, common sense measure would prevent abortionists from knowingly aborting children because their mother had received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

The bill could be voted on by the full state Senate at any time.

The legislation’s sponsor, state Representative Kate Klunk (R-Hanover), believes that the bill is the ultimate form of disability rights protection.

“A diagnosis of Down syndrome shouldn’t be a reason to end a viable life,” said Klunk. “Rather, each life should be celebrated. People with Down syndrome are some of the most caring, loving, and nurturing people I have ever met.

“We must work to protect the Down syndrome community from the stigma it suffers from the practice of Down syndrome-selective abortions,” Rep. Klunk added.

The legislation comes at a time when people with an extra chromosome have more opportunities than ever before. Some of their accomplishments include swimming the English Channel, speaking at the United Nations, and meeting national leaders.

The life expectancy of individuals with Down syndrome has grown tremendously in recent decades. A person with Down syndrome born today is expected to live to be at least 60 years of age—a vast improvement over the age 10 life expectancy of the 1960s.

Action Item: If you live in Pennsylvania, please contact your state Senator and urge a “Yes” vote on House Bill 1500 by clicking here.