Harrisburg, Pa., Nov 22, 2019 / 16:00 pm
Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf this week vetoed a bill that would have banned the abortion of children prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome. The state Catholic conference condemned the decision.
“Gov. Wolf’s veto will prevent all children with Down’s syndrome from going on to live happy and fulfilled lives,” executive director Eric Failing said in a Nov. 21 statement.
“Had Gov. Wolf signed this legislation, he would’ve ensured the protection of humanity’s most vulnerable lives,” he said in Nov. 21 statement.
Wolf vetoed the bill on Thursday, stating that the legislation would have hindered the medical decisions between a woman and her doctor.
“This legislation is a restriction on women and medical professionals and interferes with women’s health care and the crucial decision-making between patients and their physicians,” Wolf said in an online statement.
“Physicians and their patients must be able to make choices about medical procedures based on best practices and standards of care,” he further added.
Under the current Pennsylvania law, abortion is permissible for any reason, besides gender selection, until the 24th week of pregnancy. If the bill passed this week had been signed into law, it would have prohibited abortions chosen after a diagnosis of Down syndrome, except in cases of rape, incest, and medical emergencies.
Even though the bill was vetoed, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference applauded the efforts of Democratic and Republican lawmakers who supported the effort.