Utah passes bill banning abortion of Down syndrome babies

A pregnant woman touches her stomach as people practice yoga on the morning of the summer solstice in New York's Times Square June 20, 2012. | REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Utah's state Legislature passed a bill Thursday banning abortion solely based on a Down syndrome diagnosis.

The Down Syndrome Nondiscrimination Abortion Act, also known as HB166, includes exceptions for incest, rape, and medical emergencies that put the mother's life at risk. It's now headed to the desk of Republican Gov. Gary Herbert who hasn't said whether he will sign it or not, according to KSL radio

The bill also comes with a "trigger" provision stipulating that it would not become law, if signed of the governor, until after a court rules on its constitutional standing.

"This is somewhat of a message bill from the standpoint that we are saying if that is the reason that you want an abortion, that is probably not a good reason," Herbert said.

The governor said he thinks the bill comes with some legal protection because it will not become law until other states have tested it and it's deemed constitutional.

"(That) takes some of the risk out of it," Herbert said.

The final vote in the state Senate was 20-6, with every Democratic senator voting against and every Republican voting in favor of the bill.

Utah previously attempted to pass a bill banning the abortion of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome last year, but it failed to gain the votes needed to pass.

Pro-life advocates have long argued that aborting babies with the condition amounts to a form of eugenics.

In the United States, 67 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted, according to Healthline. In Denmark the number is 98 percent, and in Iceland it's almost 100 percent.

The Christian Post previously reported that the Canadian Down Syndrome Society released a video of individuals who petitioned the International Union for Conservation of Nature Global Species Programme to be included on the "red list" of endangered species, arguing that they meet the criteria to be considered endangered because of significant population declines in several countries.

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