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Indiana Legislature passes ban on Down syndrome abortions

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On Wednesday, the Indiana House voted 60-40 to pass legislation banning abortions sought due to the baby having a genetic abnormality, such as Down syndrome.

“Those unborn children are Hoosiers and they have constitutional rights,” House Speaker Brian Bosma declared in support of the bill. “We’re not making a determination about women’s’ health. We are trying to protect the right of the unborn they cannot speak for themselves.”

The bill would allow abortionist who abort a child for having such a condition to be sued for wrongful death. It also requires abortionists to bury or cremate dead preborn children, and makes the transfer of aborted fetal body parts a felony.

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Opponents claim the legislation is an intrusion on women’s right to make decisions about their own health, despite the fact that the measure only pertains to abortions sought based on the child’s health rather. Some also objected to the fact that House leadership sent the bill straight to an up-or-down vote, rather than allowing a committee to review the genetic abnormality provision, which was added by the Senate.

The bill had already passed the state Senate 37-13, and now awaits only the signature of Republican Governor Mike Pence, who says he will “give this legislation thoughtful consideration once it reaches his desk,” according to a spokeswoman.

If Pence signs it, Indiana will become the second state with such a ban on the books, along with North Dakota.

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