Utah lawmakers pass bill to bar abortions in cases of Down syndrome

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utah state capitol

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – UPDATE: The bill passed the Senate on Thursday, Feb. 28. 


A bill that prohibits abortions solely on the basis of a Down syndrome diagnosis cleared another hurdled at the Utah State Capitol.

The State House of Representatives passed the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Abortion Act by a vote of 54-15 Friday afternoon. 

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Karianne Lisonbee (R-District 14), also “requires that a pregnant woman be provided certain information before receiving an abortion when a prenatal screening or diagnostic test indicates that the pregnant woman’s unborn child has or may have Down syndrome.” 

Lawmakers attempted to pass a similar bill during the 2018 legislative session, but they were unsuccessful. 

Before for the bill was introduced in committee this year, Lisonbee added language addressing concerns that the bill could be unconstitutional. The current version of the bill would only go into effect if a similar measure in another state is upheld in court. 

Planned Parenthood of Utah has said the bill is an effort to restrict abortion, and the personal, complex decision to terminate a pregnancy should be left to families and doctors. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...