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Bill Would Ban Abortion Due To Fetal Gender, Disability

Noah Coffey

A Senate committee passed a bill Wednesday prohibiting women from having abortions because of the child’s gender or disability. 

Supporters say the measure helps affirm the value of all life.

Fort Wayne Republican Senator Liz Brown’s bill bars abortions when the procedure is done because of the child’s gender or if they have a disability such as Down syndrome.  Mary O’Callaghan is an Indiana resident and the mother of a child with Down’s.  She says abortion because of a prenatal disability diagnosis is a short-sighted solution.  And O’Callaghan says allowing those abortions helps perpetuate what she sees as discrimination against people with disabilities:

“Banning abortion due to disability sends a clear message to mothers that their child’s disability is not a death sentence,” says O'Callaghan.

Opponents of the bill say it limits the mother’s right to choose and that forcing a woman to carry a child with a disability to term is cruel.  The committee approved the bill seven to four.  It now heads to the Senate floor.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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