Pennsylvania House passes bill banning abortions for Down syndrome

April 16, 2018

The Pennsylvania House on Monday passed a bill to ban abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis in the fetus.

The GOP-backed bill passed with bipartisan support in a 139-56 vote, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote. If it passes, it will face Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who opposes the bill and would be expected to veto it, according to the paper. Wolf also vetoed a 20-week abortion ban in December.

Ohio passed a similar bill on Down syndrome abortions late last year, which GOP Gov. John Kasich signed in December, making the state the third to have such a law.

The Ohio law is facing multiple legal challenges, and a federal judge has temporarily blocked the law from taking effect, saying that it is an unconstitutional violation of abortion rights.

http://thehill.com

ACLU challenges Kentucky’s new ultrasound abortion law

AP – January 9, 2017

Fighting back against the Republican majority in Kentucky’s Legislature, abortion rights supporters filed a federal lawsuit Monday aimed at blocking a new state law that requires women to get an ultrasound and have the fetal images described to them before having an abortion.

The American Civil Liberties Union went to court soon after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed the ultrasound bill into law — one of two abortion measures put on a fast track to passage last week from the GOP-led House and Senate in the first week of the 2017 session.

The ACLU said the ultrasound law violates privacy and 1st Amendment rights by requiring abortion providers to show and describe the ultrasound images to pregnant women, even if the women avert their eyes, which is permissible. The procedure also would seek to detect the fetal heartbeat, but women could ask that the volume of the heartbeat be reduced or turned off, if audible.

The law “compels women to listen to this government-mandated speech while lying captive on the examination table,” according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Louisville.

Bevin called it “sound legislation” and predicted it would hold up in court.

http://www.latimes.com