Why Down syndrome is in the middle of the Pa. abortion debate

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Ultrasound of an 18-week fetus. A Down syndrome diagnosis can occur between 11 and 13 weeks of pregnancy, according to the CDC. In Pennsylvania, a pregnant woman has until 24 weeks to terminate a pregnancy. (Jennifer Davis/Bigstock)

Ultrasound of an 18-week fetus. A Down syndrome diagnosis can occur between 11 and 13 weeks of pregnancy, according to the CDC. In Pennsylvania, a pregnant woman has until 24 weeks to terminate a pregnancy. (Jennifer Davis/Bigstock)

Republican Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai recently introduced House Bill 2050, which would criminalize abortions based on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. He introduced the same bill last year, and, while it passed in the House, it failed in the Senate. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said that he would have vetoed that bill. So why is Turzai introducing legislation he knows is likely to fail? And how does this battle fall into the broader fight over abortion? The Why’s Shai Ben-Yaacov explains the contentious debate and its impact on the special needs community.

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