Pa. Governor’s veto sharply criticized by sponsor of Down Syndrome Protection Act

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Pennsylvania State Rep.  Kate Klunk

The Governor of Pennsylvania is receiving sharp criticism for his decision to veto the popular Down Syndrome Protection Act.

Democrat Tom Wolf, a former volunteer clinic escort for abortion giant Planned Parenthood, announced his veto via a video posted on Twitter one day after the bill passed the PA Senate. The video had been captioned, “Another attack on abortion—VETOED.”

The bill would have banned abortion if the sole reason for the abortion was a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. It has been estimated that the vast majority of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted.

The bill’s intrepid sponsor, Rep. Kate Klunk (R—Hanover), issued the following heartfelt statement following the veto:

“I am incredibly disheartened by Gov. Wolf’s veto of the Down Syndrome Protection bill. With the stroke of a pen, he not only vetoed an important piece of legislation, but also continued to allow for the termination of unborn babies strictly because they have a Down syndrome diagnosis.

“In his veto message, Wolf said, ‘There is no evidence that this bill is needed in Pennsylvania.’ I beg to differ. When I looked at all the people with Down syndrome who advocated for this bill, I saw the evidence of why this bill should be law in our Commonwealth. I saw the love and value they add to their families and to the fabric of our communities. And, I saw the need to protect these individuals from needless death simply because they have an extra chromosome.”

Rep. Klunk also spoke eloquently of the void created by the absence of people with Down syndrome.

“I’m sure almost everyone knows someone who is living a life with Down syndrome. Imagine a family picture if that person with Down syndrome wasn’t there. There would be a blank space. Imagine family dinners where one less person is around the table. There would be one less place setting, an empty seat. One less person full of life and promise in this world all because that child would be born with Down syndrome.”

The Down Syndrome Protection Act passed both the PA House and Senate by comfortable bipartisan majorities. Contrary to the Governor’s claims, the bill also had the support of disability rights activists around the Commonwealth.

In her impassioned statement, Rep. Klunk also pointed out the eugenics factor in the abortion of children with Down syndrome.

“Allowing babies to be aborted solely because they have a diagnosis of Down syndrome is a return to a dark hour of human history. We must stand with these perfectly imperfect individuals and support their right to life, their right to love and to spread happiness in this world.

“I will continue to fight for the voiceless and ensure they are afforded the same chance at life as everyone else,” Rep. Klunk added.