Senator David Sater (R-Cassville) is proposing a bill in 2016 that would ban abortions for women who only want the procedure because their child has or could have Down syndrome. Ohio and North Dakota have passed similar laws and pro-choice advocates there have argued that those violate the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade ruling, which allows women to have an abortion until the fetus is viable.
“Almost 90% of Down syndrome babies in the womb are being aborted in the U.S. I just felt like that was kind of was inhumane,” said Sater. “I thought it was discriminatory. Just because someone has an abnormality, I thought that wasn’t a good reason to have an abortion.”
A doctor would have to confirm that a diagnosis of Down syndrome was not the sole reason for his patient wanting the abortion. If the woman does not disclose that information, then the physician won’t be held liable.
Doctors who break his proposed law would face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
Sater doesn’t thinks this bill will cause as much controversy as a 72-hour abortion bill, which he sponsored in 2014. The legislation requires women to visit a physician and wait 72 hours before having an abortion. Governor Jay Nixon vetoed that measure and the Legislature overrode it.