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Anti-Abortion Bill Advances From Senate Committee

A bill preventing mothers from getting an abortion under certain conditions before 20 weeks passed Senate committee Wednesday.

The bill is virtually identical to one that didn't pass last year. It bans abortions less than 20 weeks into term, but only if the patient's motivation is based on race, gender, disability, or the possibility of disability.

Supporters of the bill say it also ensures women receive information about options outside of abortion when met with news that their child has a life-threatening disability - something they claims does not happen often enough.

“What we have found is besides doctors pressuring women to have the abortion, they are not giving them the care and being compassionate in terms of what these women are facing," says bill co-author Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne.

Some who testified say the bill works to fix a system which devalues the lives of disabled children, such as those with Down Syndrome. Brown says 90% of the time mothers hear their child will have Down Syndrome they choose to get an abortion.

Sen. Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington, says the bill breaks federal law, which allows for abortions before 20 weeks with no questions asked.

Critics also say the process of identifying motivations behind an abortion would be impractical and create privacy issues.

"That's a pretty intrusive process for the state to get stepping into, when they don't know the patient and their circumstances," says Dr. Kathryn Carboneau of Fort Wayne.

The bill advanced through Senate committee with a vote of seven to four.

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