The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is launching another effort to outlaw abortions because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
The Republican-controlled House passed the bill 117-76 after two hours of sometimes emotional debate about pregnancies, children and relatives living with disabilities.
State Representative Kate Klunk of York was among those voting for the bill. She said a baby should not be discriminated against because they have an extra chromosome.
“I believe we have a responsibility to stand up and say that a baby who has received a down syndrome diagnosis in the womb has the right to life and should not be discriminated against because they have an extra chromosome,” Klunk said.
But Representative Melissa Shusterman (from eastern PA) voted against the bill, calling it an attempt to restrict the rights of women.
“This is a blatant attempt to restrict the rights of women,” Shusterman said.
State Rep. Dan Frankel, from Allegheny County, agreed, saying he’s opposed to the bill and questioned its constitutionality.
“This bill is about one thing…it’s about taking away options for women’s healthcare,” Frankel said.
The bill now goes to the Senate, where similar legislation died last year.
The votes in Pennsylvania come amid a wave of abortion restrictions advancing in more conservative states, including Alabama.