The NAACP has lost its bid to overturn a pro-life law in Arizona that bans any abortion used specifically to target a black baby in an abortion. Arizona became the first state to pass legal protections for unborn babies targeted for discriminatory race-based abortions in 2011.
Since then, the law has bounced back and forth through numerous challenges in court, filed by pro-abortion groups.
In the latest battle, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether the pro-abortion groups that filed the lawsuit have legal standing to challenge the law. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed the challenge to the law on behalf of the NAACP and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.
The pro-life legal group Alliance Defending Freedom is defending the law on behalf of its key sponsor, Arizona state Rep. Steve Montenegro. ADF informed LifeNews.com today about today’s refusal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to reinstate an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit on behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People against an Arizona law that bans abortions based on sex or race.
“No one should be subjected to abortion because they’re the wrong sex or race,” Montenegro previously said about the law. He pointed to a 2010 Economist magazine article on “gender-cide” that documented a bias against black babies and said many abortions on black babies are done because of the race of the child.
ADF legal counsel Steve Aden told LifeNews: “Preserving the life of all babies, regardless of their sex or race, should be everyone’s priority. Sadly, it wasn’t for the ACLU and the NAACP, but the 9th Circuit has rightly upheld the district court’s decision to dismiss their lawsuit. Nothing about an abortion committed on the basis of sex or race is medically necessary or constitutionally protected.”
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Speaking about the lawsuit in 2014, ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox told LifeNews: “Every innocent life deserves to be protected, and that’s especially true of any babies targeted for death simply because of their sex or race. Nothing about an abortion committed on the basis of sex or race is medically necessary or constitutionally protected. The fact that groups who supposedly exist to protect the interests of minorities and women are attacking this law is scandalous.”
Abortion advocates claim there is no evidence in Arizona that such abortions are performed. However, an undercover investigation by the pro-life group Live Action found that several U.S. abortion clinics, including one in Arizona, were willing to perform sex-selection abortions.
Several studies published in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine also provide evidence of the discriminatory practice of sex-selection abortions in the U.S.
As LifeNews previously reported, the legislation also would ban sex-selection abortions and require women seeking abortions to sign a statement saying they are not obtaining the abortion because of the gender of the unborn baby. The law also prohibits abortions based on the race of the unborn child. The father of the unborn child or the parents of a minor girl would be able to file a lawsuit for civil damages against abortion practitioners that do race-based or sex-selection abortions.
The law makes it a felony to provide financing for such an abortion and supporters of the measure say it is important to root out discrimination that comes in the form of destroying unborn children for gender or racial reasons.
While several states also ban sex-selection abortions, Arizona is the only state that also bans abortions solely because of the baby’s race.
ADF attorneys along with ADF-allied attorney and University of St. Thomas Law Professor Teresa Collett represented bill sponsor Rep. Steve Montenegro, U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Dr. Alveda King, and multiple African-American and women’s groups in a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the 9th Circuit in favor of the Arizona law. The lawsuit is National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Horne.