North Carolina pushes forward bill to ban race-based abortions or Down syndrome

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A bill to ban abortion on the basis of race or Down syndrome was brought forward in North Carolina on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

The North Carolina House Health Committee has approved the bill, which would fine doctors who performed abortions despite knowing the motivation for the procedure aligned with one of those two factors.

The legislation is now being sent to the Judiciary Commission, where it is expected to be assessed on Wednesday.

Sponsors of the Republican-backed bill argue that selective abortions due to race or prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are “discriminatory eugenic abortion.”

“This bill is not a sham,” said Julie Scott Emmons, representative of the conservative NC Values ​​Coalition, according to the AP. “It actually puts a protective fence around an entire class of human beings who shouldn’t have to take a genetic test to earn the right to be born.”

Opponents of the legislation see it as another obstacle to the right to abortion.

“I find this bill discriminatory against pregnant women,” said state representative Verla Insko (D).

She added, “I can’t imagine anything more threatening than having someone take control of my body. I’d much rather we push birth control.”

The legislation comes months after North Carolina Democrats introduced the Abortion Barrier Removal and Access Act. The bill would lift restrictions on abortion that several lawmakers say disproportionately affect black and low-income women, The Observer of Fayetteville noted.

“The burdens on patients are political, paternalistic and unacceptable,” said Senator Natasha Marcus (R), sponsor of the bill in the Senate.


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