Utah abortion bill aims to protect unborn children with Down Syndrome

SALT LAKE CITY - Two republican lawmakers introduced a bill to the Utah legislature Monday, which would limit a woman’s option to terminate the pregnancy if the unborn child has Down syndrome.

Representative Karianne Lisonbee (R) and Senator Curt Bramble (R), introduced a bill Monday, prohibiting Utah doctors from performing an abortion solely because the child would be born with Down syndrome.

“What we are doing here today by announcing this bill, is saying that on our watch we will walk-the-walk, we will do all we can to protect the most precious, the most innocent and the most vulnerable among us,” said Sen. Bramble.

The measure was opposed by the Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah, saying it would further restrict a woman’s right to choose.

In a statement to Fox 13 Planned Parenthood said,

““H.B. 205 is about restricting access to abortion, not protecting those with Down syndrome.  The decision to terminate a pregnancy is a deeply personal and sometimes complex decision that must be left to a woman, in consultation with her family, her faith, and her health care provider. Many parents find that having a child with Down syndrome is the right decision for them, but this does not mean that their experience should lead to a law that forces other families into the same situation. Regardless of how one personally feels about abortion, it’s important that it remain a safe and legal medical procedure for a woman to consider if and when she needs it.”

The Supreme Court has recognized abortion as a constitutional right since the 1973 case of Roe V. Wade.

In the state of Utah, an abortion can occur throughout the pregnancy if the woman’s life is at risk, her health is compromised, or if the child is a result of rape, incest or fetal anomaly.

If the bill passes, any Utah doctor who performs an abortion when Down syndrome is the only reason, would face misdemeanor charges.

The woman would not be charged.