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Bill would prohibit abortions performed solely because of down syndrome risk

SALT LAKE CITY — The bill, authored and sponsored by Representative Karianne Lisonbee, would make abortions illegal if they were performed solely because the child might be born with down syndrome.

The committee meeting discussing the bill was held directly after the Senate honored the life of a man with special needs. Matt Hillyard is the son of a Utah senator. Senator Curtis Bramble said Matt taught them to be kind, to be happy, and he cheered on both parties throughout the year.

“He taught a lesson that everyone of us are winners,” Bramble said in the committee meeting today.

Bramble agreed to co-sponsor the bill with Lisonbee. He testified today that unborn children are human beings and not “an unresponsive lump of tissue”.

“Society definitely needs the lessons that they teach us,” Bramble said.

Lisonbee added that for a society that prides itself on inclusiveness, “…we have a long way to go.”

If passed the bill would make abortion performed solely because of the risk of down syndrome a class-A misdemeanor offense.

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