HARRISBURG – Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) released the following statement after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to report House Bill 2050 out of committee this morning:
“Thank you to Sen. Stewart Greenleaf and the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who voted in favor of House Bill 2050
, and showed that Pennsylvania will stand up for the rights of unborn children,” Turzai said. “People with Down syndrome are members of the community in which they live, and they, along with their families, share their gifts and make positive contributions in our society every day. We are happy the Senate is moving this important legislation forward.”
House Bill 2050 would prohibit a doctor from aborting a child due solely to a diagnosis of possible Down syndrome.
During a March 12 rally in the Capitol Rotunda, Dr. Karen Gaffney, an accomplished swimmer and public speaker who became the first living person with Down syndrome to receive an honorary doctorate from a college or university, said, “Those of us with Down syndrome and our families face a very difficult future. We face a possibility of wiping out all of the tremendous progress we have made. Just as we are making so much progress, a whole industry has grown up focused on prenatal screening – screening that would end our lives before we take our first breath. Now that you can test for Down syndrome before birth, there are many experts in the medical community that say this extra chromosome we carry around is not compatible with life. Not compatible with life? After everything we have done, I would say we are more than compatible. We are what life is all about. Our lives are worth living and our lives are worth learning about.”
Under current 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 law would have no restrictions on a mother obtaining an abortion in cases of rape, incest or personal endangerment.
Representative Mike Turzai
Speaker of the House
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Neal Lesher
717.260.6495 (office) 717.507.9240 (cell)