Oklahoma soon could become the third state to ban discriminatory abortions on unborn babies with disabilities.
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Senate passed the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act in a 39-6 vote, according to the Associated Press. Similar to laws in Indiana and North Dakota, the Oklahoma bill would prohibit abortions based solely on an unborn baby’s diagnosis of a genetic disability like Down syndrome.
Here is more from the report:
It also would allow a pregnant woman or her legal guardian to bring a civil action against the doctor who violates the law. Doctors also could face criminal penalties and the suspension or revocation of their medical license for violating the law.
The bill was written by Oklahoma City Republican Sen. Greg Treat, an outspoken abortion opponent.
It already passed the House on a 78-10 vote, but is likely headed to a conference committee to work out final details.
Abortion is routinely used to discriminate against unborn babies with disabilities. Researchers estimate about 90 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. In Denmark, government figures from 2014 showed 98 percent of pregnant women carrying unborn babies with Down syndrome chose abortion.
In March, Indiana became the second state to prohibit the discriminatory abortions based on unborn babies’ disabilities. In 2013, North Dakota became the first state to pass a similar bill to protect unborn babies from abortions because of disabilities. A handful of states also ban abortions based solely on the baby’s sex.