Lawyers in the Trump administration joined Ohio leaders Wednesday to argue for the right to protect unborn babies from discrimination.
The case before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals involves an Ohio law that prohibits abortions targeting unborn babies because of a Down syndrome diagnosis, their sex or race.
Supporting Ohio’s case, lawyers with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division urged the judges to recognize that preborn human beings deserve the same civil rights as human beings who have been born, The Hill reports.
“Ohio’s anti-discrimination law affirms that people with Down syndrome have lives worth living and protecting,” said Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband.
The DOJ lawyers pointed out how frequently unborn babies with Down syndrome are targeted for abortions. Research indicates anywhere from 60 percent to 90 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with the chromosomal disorder are aborted in the U.S.
Ironically, one brief filed in opposition to the law claimed it “does not improve the quality of the lives of and respect for people born with Down syndrome,” according to the report.
Writing at The Hill, J. Christian Adams of the Public Interest Legal Foundation said the law is needed for people with Down syndrome who are not yet born.
“If federal laws protecting persons with disabilities are on the books, why shouldn’t they protect unborn persons with disabilities too?” he asked.
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The DOJ’s brief argues that the Ohio law “protects individuals with disabilities from prejudice and indifference, and the medical profession from harm to its integrity and reputation.” Referring to the evils of eugenics and other state-sponsored killing programs, the brief argues that Ohio’s law “wards against the slippery slope to medical involvement in race- or sex-based abortions.”
In 2019, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas made much the same observations when he wrote about a similar anti-discrimination law in Indiana. Thomas said the Indiana law and “other laws like it promote a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.”
Judge Alice Moore Batchelder, who was on the Sixth Circuit panel that heard the case last year, also supported the law. In her decision in October, she argued that the law should be upheld to prevent the deliberate targeting of children with disabilities. She cited the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Buck vs. Bell, which allowed for forced sterilization in order to prevent “socially inadequate offspring.”
“The eugenicist impulse on display in Buck, and amplified in its aftermath, is no mere relic of history. Today, many countries celebrate the use of abortion to cleanse their populations of babies whom some would view—ignorantly—as sapping the strength of society,” Batchelder wrote.
It is not clear when the full Sixth Circuit will rule on the case.
In 2018, a judge with close ties to Planned Parenthood blocked enforcement of the law. The ACLU of Ohio, the Preterm-Cleveland abortion facility and other abortion groups are the groups suing the state. In October, a Sixth Circuit panel upheld the judge’s block, but later the full court agreed to hear an appeal.
Lately, prominent pro-abortion groups, including NARAL and Planned Parenthood, have been arguing openly that abortions are ok for any reason, including discrimination and sex-selection.
“EVERY reason to have an abortion is a valid reason,” Colleen McNicholas, a Planned Parenthood abortionist, told the AP in 2019 when Missouri passed a law that bans sex-selection and Down syndrome-based abortions.
If upheld, these laws could protect thousands of unborn babies from abortion every year. Unborn babies with Down syndrome are targeted for abortions at astronomical rates. Many believe sex-selection abortions also occur in the U.S., though data is limited.
A CBS News report shocked the nation with its exposure of the discriminatory abortion trend. According to the report, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland. The rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the United Kingdom and 67 percent in the United States between 1995 and 2011, according to CBS.
North Dakota, Missouri and Indiana also passed laws to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortions. However, in 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal to lift a block on the Indiana law. A judge also recently blocked the Missouri law.