N.C. ban on Down syndrome abortions heads to Dem governor

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N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper speaks to the gathered media after his tour of a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Pine Hall Brick plant in Madison, N.C. (Woody Marshall/News & Record via AP, File)

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UPDATED 1:38 PM PT – Friday, June 11, 2021

The GOP-led North Carolina Senate approved a bill that would ban abortions based on race, sex or a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The legislation would require abortion providers in the state to sign a statement confirming that a woman is not seeking to end her pregnancy based on those specific reasons.

Supporters of the bill argue prenatal tests for Down syndrome can sometimes be wrong leading women who otherwise wouldn’t, to seek an abortion. Others argue the legislation would prevent discrimination and modern-day eugenics. “Children should not have to pass a genetic test to earn the right to be born,” argued Joyce Krawiec (R-N.C.).

Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua (L) with her baby Gammy, born with Down Syndrome, at the Samitivej hospital, Sriracha district in Chonburi province on August 4, 2014. The surrogate mother of a baby reportedly abandoned by his Australian parents in Thailand because he has Down Syndrome was a "saint" and "absolute hero", Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)

Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua (L) with her baby Gammy, born with Down syndrome, at the Samitivej hospital, Sriracha district in Chonburi province on August 4, 2014. (NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)

Although, opponents of the bill argue it denies women their constitutional right to an abortion. Sen. Sarah Crawford (D-N.C.) said, “this bill is not about the joy that people with disabilities bring to the world. This bill is about controlling women. Simple as that.”

The bill is now headed to Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper (N.C.) who is unlikely to sign it into law considering his reputation for rejecting similar restrictions in the past.

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