The Utah state House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday that would limit the number of abortions performed in the state.
Approved in the House by a 54 to 15 vote, the bill would make performing abortion on babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb illegal.
“The legislation approved Friday would only go into effect if a similar law is upheld in court, a provision added to address concerns that it could embroil the state in an expensive lawsuit,” according to the Associated Press.
The proposed bill follow suit after countries like Denmark and Iceland reportedly performed abortion specifically on pregnancies diagnosed with Down syndrome in an effort to eliminate the group. If passed, Utah would become the fourth state to protect babies with Down Syndrome in the womb, making aborting those with the disorder a class-A misdemeanor.
“Unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities are discriminated against at astronomical rates. Parents whose unborn babies have Down syndrome or other disabilities frequently report feeling pressure to abort them by doctors and genetic counselors.”
The test for Downs is performed between 10 and 13 weeks of pregnancy. While it is hard to determine the exact amount of abortions performed on babies with Down syndrome, “Some put the rate as high as 90 percent in the United States, but it is difficult to determine the exact number because the U.S. government does not keep detailed statistics about abortion,” according to Life News.
Utah has already taken previous measures to protect life inside the womb. Live Action reports that Utah’s current law “requires a woman to complete an online module which would educate her on childbirth (including fetal development, with photos), abortion (including a section on fetal pain), adoption, and other aid resources available to her before she makes her decision about her pregnancy.”
The bill will next head to the Senate for a vote.
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