Attorney General Curtis Hill Leads Multistate Brief Defending Ohio Law Prohibiting Abortions Due to Down syndrome

Attorney General Curtis Hill has filed an amicus brief supporting the constitutionality of an Ohio law prohibiting medical providers from performing an abortion with “knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion, in whole or in part, because” the unborn child has Down syndrome.

Attorney General Curtis Hill

A panel of the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld an injunction against the Ohio statute, stating that any limitation on pre-viability abortions is unconstitutional and that Ohio’s interest in preventing discriminatory abortions “does not become compelling until viability.”

In the amicus brief, however, Attorney General Hill argues that states have a compelling interest in preventing the spread of abortion as a tool for eugenics, which is defined as “the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics.” Attorney General Hill asks the full 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to consider the matter.

“There is no escaping the hard truth that permitting abortion of the disabled not only denies equal human worth but also gradually eliminates certain categories of the disabled from society,” Attorney General Hill said. “Iceland has reached a nearly 100 percent elimination rate for babies with Down syndrome, and the United States and other developed countries are not far behind.”

Indiana and other states have passed anti-discriminatory laws similar to the Ohio statute. The amicus brief, co-led by Indiana and Kentucky, is also joined by 14 other states.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider an Indiana anti-eugenics law invalidated by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Yet, in a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas offered a compelling 20-page analysis detailing the historical link between abortion and the progressive movement’s goal of creating a more desirable human population. “Given the potential for abortion to become a tool of eugenic manipulation,” Justice Thomas wrote, “the Court will soon need to confront the constitutionality of laws like Indiana’s. . . . With today’s prenatal screening tests and other technologies, abortion can easily be used to eliminate children with unwanted characteristics.”

Attached is the amicus brief filed Nov. 1 with the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. 68 – Amicus Brief.pdf