Louisiana Senate Passes Bill to Ban Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 3, 2016   |   10:00AM   |   Baton Rouge, LA

The Louisiana state Senate has approved a bill to make the Bayou State the next to ban abortions on babies with genetic abnormalities like Down syndrome. Indiana has become the second state in the nation, following North Dakota, to ban abortions on babies who are diagnosed in the womb as having Down syndrome and this bill would make Louisiana the third.

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.

Now, the Louisiana Senate agreed Thursday to a proposal aimed at prohibiting abortions performed because the baby has a genetic abnormality. Here’s more:

Republican Sen. Dan Claitor usually votes for bills adding new restrictions on abortion. But the Baton Rouge lawyer said he couldn’t vote for the proposal, saying it clearly runs afoul of court decisions upholding a woman’s right to an abortion.

“Why would you put me in a box to make a choice between supporting my oath to uphold the constitution … and being pro-life?” Claitor said. “The bill as written, in my view, is patently unconstitutional.”

Claitor tried to water down the bill to instead provide information to pregnant women about available services for infants born with disabilities, to discourage abortion based on genetic abnormalities. But his amendment was rejected in an 18-18 vote.

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Rep. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, objected to Claitor’s attempt to rewrite the bill.

“Every bill we pass can be challenged. But this bill right here protects the life of unborn children,” she said.

After rejecting Claitor’s amendment, the Senate approved the bill on a 29-6 vote. The Senate added an exception for abortions performed to save the life of the mother.

The proposal heads back to the House for consideration of that and other Senate changes.

The bill would penalize the doctor who violates the ban, not the woman. If convicted, a doctor could be sentenced to up to two years in prison and could face malpractice claims and a wrongful death lawsuit.

In Indiana, the Planned Parenthood abortion business ha filed suit to overturn the law so it can abort more babies with Down syndrome.

The new law, signed by Gov. Mike Pence in March, bans abortion doctors from knowingly aborting an unborn baby solely because of a genetic disability such as Down syndrome, the unborn baby’s race or sex. The bill also has several other abortion-related measures, including a requirement that aborted or miscarried babies’ bodies be cremated or buried and another requirement that abortionists who have hospital admitting privileges renew them annually.

The abortion business failed to convince the general public to oppose the regulations, so now it hopes to convince a court. In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky claims the restrictions are unconstitutional because they infringe on a woman’s “right” to a first-trimester abortion, according to the Indy Star.

Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, told LifeNews he was not surprised by the lawsuit.

“This is the same song and dance we have seen from the abortion provider anytime they feel their lucrative abortion business is threatened,” Fichter said. “They look to the courts and activist judges to rule in their favor. Planned Parenthood boasts $2 million a year in abortion revenue in Indiana alone. They oppose any common sense law that protects women and children because they want to protect their bottom line.”



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