Rapp Takes First Action as House Health Committee Chairman, Advances Legislation Prohibiting Down Syndrome Abortions
4/9/2018
HARRISBURG – Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) completed her first official action as PA House Health Committee chairman by convening a voting meeting today to advance legislation which would prohibit the abortion of a child due solely to a diagnosis of possible Down syndrome.

“Tragically, studies reveal that as many as nine out of 10 children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome are aborted in the United States,” said Rapp, who also serves as the chairman of the bipartisan House Pro-Life Caucus. “In Iceland, abortion supporters callously brag about eliminating children with Down syndrome, and mothers from around the world are being directly pressured or advised to make this decision by genetic counselors and the culture. Final passage of House Bill 2050 would bring an end to the implementation of this genocidal philosophy in Pennsylvania, which is unconscionably being advanced by Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider.”

Sponsored by House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), House Bill 2050 now moves to the full House for consideration.

Under current Pennsylvania law, a woman can obtain an abortion prior to 24 weeks gestational age for any reason, except if the woman’s sole reason is to select the sex of the child. House Bill 2050 would expand that exception to prohibit aborting a child due solely to a prenatal diagnosis that the unborn child has Down syndrome. The legislation contains no restrictions on a mother obtaining an abortion in cases of rape, incest or personal endangerment.

Four other states—North Dakota, Ohio, Indiana and Louisiana—have already taken steps to protect these children by passing similar laws prohibiting abortions because of a Down syndrome diagnosis.

Down syndrome is a congenital, chromosome abnormality causing developmental delays and physical limitations impacting a child’s height and facial appearance. In recent years, celebrity support and public awareness about advances in support for families impacted by the condition have dramatically improved the life span, along with educational and work opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome.

According to recent reports, at the turn of the 20th century a baby diagnosed with Down syndrome was not expected to live past his/her 10th birthday. In 2018, the life expectancy for an individual with Down syndrome has been extended to age 60 and beyond.

“We must always keep in mind, that 21st century medical and scientific advancements are constantly changing what it means to live with Down syndrome and other ‘disabilities’ for the better,” said Rapp. “What should never be denied is the fact that people with Down syndrome and other disabilities have contributed much to our society and will continue to do so—when we finally recognize that each of their precious lives is worth living. There is simply no justifiable or convenient excuse for aborting an unborn child diagnosed with Down syndrome.”

Visit RepRapp.com or Facebook.com/RepRapp for the latest legislative updates.

Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
717.772.9979
RepRapp.com / Facebook.com/RepRapp

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