Jun. 08, 2021

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today approved two legislative measures designed to better protect the lives of unborn children in the Commonwealth, announced Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin), author of one of the bills.

Kauffman’s House Bill 1095 would categorize the murder of an unborn child the same as any other murder for sentencing purposes. He wrote the legislation to address a Pennsylvania Superior Court decision that reasoned in Commonwealth v. Hayes that the murder of an unborn child did not technically constitute “murder.”

“Murder is a heinous crime and the person who commits that crime should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. He or she should not be given a lesser sentence just because the child is still in the womb. To do so is an injustice to that child,” said Kauffman. “It is high time we, as a society, start to prioritize life, not marginalize it.”

The House today also approved legislation by Rep. Kate Klunk (R-Hanover) to protect the lives of children with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. 

House Bill 1500 would not allow an abortion solely due to a Down syndrome diagnosis. Nothing in the proposal would interfere with the existing ability of a woman to obtain an abortion in cases of rape, incest or endangerment to the mother, which are contained in different sections of the Abortion Control Act.

“To terminate a life based solely on a diagnosis that a child might have Down syndrome is misguided,” said Kauffman. “Those with Down syndrome lead long, happy lives and are special individuals who should be celebrated. This legislation will help protect these children.”

Both bills now go to the Senate for consideration.

Representative Rob Kauffman
89th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives