Bill Barring Abortion for Fetal Gender, Disability Draws Fire

Feb 19, 2015

Indiana Sen. Liz Brown authored a bill barring women from having abortions due to issues with gender or genetic disabilities in the fetus.
Credit Courtesy / Liz Brown

Opponents of a bill barring women from having abortions because of the child’s gender or disability say it will restrict a woman’s right to choose.

The proposed legislation, authored by Fort Wayne Republican Senator Liz Brown, prohibits abortions done because of the child’s gender or if they have a genetic disability such as Down syndrome. 

Supporters say the measure helps women know they have options beyond abortion and that a child being diagnosed with a disability is not a death sentence. 

But Hoosier Victoria Barrett, the mother of a two-month old son, says that’s not what the bill does. 

Barrett says she terminated an earlier pregnancy in 2013 when doctors determined that genetic anomalies would have prevented the baby from surviving.

“If state law had forced me to carry my dying daughter until she fell apart in the womb, to deliver that destroyed body as I delivered my Finn, I would never have risked another pregnancy,” Barrett said.

The committee approved the bill seven to four.  It now heads to the Senate floor.