Pennsylvania Senate takes up Down syndrome abortion ban bill

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HARRISBURG, PA – MARCH 21: Airplane flys over PA State Capitol Building with a banner reading “SEN. TOOMEY DO YOUR JOB! #FILLTHESEAT” during National Day Of Action calling on Senate Republicans to “Do Your Job” and uphold their constitutional obligation to give fair consideration to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland on March 21, 2016 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for MoveOn.org)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s Senate is passing a bill to outlaw abortions because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, although it faces a veto on Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 27-22 Wednesday afternoon, six months after the bill passed the GOP-controlled House. Similar legislation died in the Senate last year.

Supporters say the bill protects a vulnerable population and carries exceptions for rape, incest and the mother’s life.

Democrats says it interferes with the doctor-patient relationship while other opponents say it’s ham-handed, unenforceable and unconstitutional.

North Dakota has a broader law in effect, but federal courts have blocked them in several other states, including Arkansas, Ohio and Missouri.

The vote comes amid a wave of abortion restrictions advancing in conservative states.

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