Senate approves bill aiming to stop abortions based on disability, gender, race

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 4, 2016) – It may become much more difficult soon for women in Indiana to have a legal abortion. Women may be prohibited from aborting a pregnancy if they’re doing so because the child would have a disability.

“If you and your wife were to go home and say, we don’t want to take that chance that we would have a child born with Down syndrome or some other disability, you couldn’t do that,” said State Senator Greg Taylor (D – Indianapolis).

Taylor was one of 14 lawmakers, including four republicans, who voted against Senate Bill 313 Tuesday. The bill looks to prohibit an abortion at any time if it is based on the fetus’ gender, race, or a potential disability.

Taylor fears for families that are unable to pay for a potentially disabled child. He says they will be forced to seek illegal abortions instead.

“I would say this will have a chilling effect on women to seek prenatal care,” he said.

The bill also addresses 2015’s Planned Parenthood scandal by restricting any use of, collecting, or selling of fetal remains. The scandal was sparked by videos, suggesting Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue from aborted babies, that accusation was later proven false.

In a statement, Judi Morrison, the Vice President of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky wrote:

“SB 313 has very real implications for women facing unexpected and difficult decisions during their pregnancy and violates the sacred trust between women and their physicians.  It would force physicians to speculate on a woman’s motives for the decisions she makes about her pregnancy. These are not decisions that should be made by politicians.”

“We value life, all types of life, it doesn’t have to be a normal, perfect, healthy child, we value everyone and they are welcome here,” said Sue Swayze, Vice President of Public Affairs for Indiana Right to Life.

Indiana Right to Life not surprisingly is supporting the bill, saying it’ll encourage women to seek other options and not abort a baby because of a costly disability.

“Indiana’s one of the best states in the country for services available to parents with children with disabilities. But to consider the worth or the value of a child based on cost, is a road we really don’t want to go down,” said Swayze.

A similar bill died in the Indiana House of Representatives last year. That is where SB313 is headed now.

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