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Pennsylvania House votes to ban abortions for Down syndrome

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A proposal to prohibit abortions in Pennsylvania when the sole reason is that the fetus has or may have Down syndrome is headed to the state Senate after passing the House by a comfortable margin.

The Republican-majority House voted Monday 139 to 56 for a bill that supporters say would protect a vulnerable population.

Opponents argue it would violate the right of women to make their own decisions about abortion.

The fate of the bill is unclear in the Republican-controlled Senate, but Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf opposes it. A spokeswoman for Wolf says the bill attempts to "undermine the doctor-patient relationship to score political points."

Pennsylvania law allows abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy for any reason except to choose the gender.

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