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19 States Urge Supreme Court to Protect Down Syndrome Babies’ Basic Right to Life

This month, attorneys General in 19 different states have joined together to write an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold a 2016 Indiana law protecting children with Down Syndrome.

The 2016 Indiana law prohibits discriminatory action against Down Syndrome children as well as children with other special needs. The law was signed by then Governor Mike Pence. However, the American Civil Liberties Union and the abortion giant Planned Parenthood challenged it in court. 

Last month, the Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill asked the Supreme Court to review the law after the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the 2016 Indiana law, declaring it to be “unconstitutional.”

A coalition of Attorneys General in 19 different states filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing that states reserve the right to pass pro life laws protecting innocent preborn life from discrimination.

The Attorney General from Wisconsin spearheaded the coalition and argued in the amicus brief that the 2016 Indiana law “furthers the State’s compelling interest in prohibiting the discriminatory elimination of classes of human beings by race, gender, or disability.”

“The Seventh Circuit invalidated this law by purporting to find within this Court’s case law a ‘categorical’ right to pre-viability abortion,” the brief noted, “a right that a State cannot infringe no matter how powerful its interest…That conclusion is legally wrong and would perversely place the unenumerated right to pre-viability abortion above even core protections of the Bill of Rights.”

“The Constitution gives every state the inherent authority to protect life,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “That authority extends to enacting laws that prohibit abortion from being used as a tool to eliminate any particular segment of the population. Every American, regardless of their biological sex, race or disability, has a God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

“Surely a State that has the constitutional authority to protect members of the Down syndrome community from being discriminated against in employment or public accommodations can protect that same community from wholesale elimination by eugenic practices,” the brief argued.

The Attorneys General urged the Supreme Court to consider revisiting the case, stating that the issue of pressing concern to the the alarmingly high abortion rates for children with Down Syndrome. The brief states that, “According to the best available estimates, 50 percent or more of pregnant women in the United States who learn that their child will be born with Down syndrome eliminate that child by abortion.” 

West Virginia joined the Wisconsin-led brief with Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Utah.


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