On Wednesday the House Health Care Policy Committee heard HB 386, sponsored by Representative John McCaherty (R-High Ridge). The bill would make it illegal for a physician to perform an abortion solely because of the unborn child’s gender, or a diagnosis of Down Syndrome or other genetic abnormality.
“Human beings are human beings, and whether or not they are a certain gender, or do or do not have Down Syndrome or another genetic abnormality, they are humans,” McCaherty said. “There are people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities living in society today. This bill addresses the fact of whether or not we see someone as being perfect or not. A life is a life is a life.”
The bill would not penalize a woman, but rather a physician who performs an abortion knowing it was because of the child’s gender or a diagnosis of Down Syndrome or other genetic abnormality.
“All penalties are against the doctor and not the woman. Until Roe v. Wade is overturned, or whatever, women have a right to choose. This legislation will prevent the physician from selling abortions,” McCaherty said, noting the new law would require the physician to discuss all options with the woman and not just abortion.
McCaherty testified that as many as 92 percent of children who are diagnosed prenatally with Down Syndrome are aborted.
No further action was taken on HB 386.