AG Curtis Hill Continues Efforts to Protect Unborn Children with Down Syndrome

(UNDATED) – Attorney General Curtis Hill has filed a second amicus brief supporting the constitutionality of an Ohio law prohibiting medical providers from performing abortions sought specifically because unborn children have Down syndrome.

Previously, Attorney General Hill filed an amicus brief asking the full 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to consider this matter after a three-judge panel upheld an injunction against the law. Now that the whole court has agreed to hear the case, Attorney General Hill is asking it to reverse a lower court’s ruling that the Ohio law is unconstitutional.

Attorney General Curtis Hill

“The authority to prevent the spread of abortion as a tool for eugenics is a compelling state interest that Indiana, Kentucky, and other states have asserted via anti-discrimination laws similar to the Ohio law at issue here,” Attorney General Hill said. “Subject in some states to court rulings, 11 states have enacted a variety of statutes precluding abortions based solely on discrimination against the fetus, such as on grounds of race, sex, or disability.”

Eugenics is defined as “the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics.” Historically, the concept has been used to justify vile and grisly acts. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has stated that disability-selective abortions “perpetuate notions of stereotyping disability as incompatible with a good life.”

“Permitting abortion on the basis of an unborn child’s disability 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. The United States and other developed countries are not far behind.”

The amicus brief, co-led by Indiana and Kentucky, is also joined by 16 other states.

The three-judge panel misinterpreted U.S. Supreme Court precedents, Attorney General Hill said, when it invalidated the Ohio law based on the erroneous understanding that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey established a “categorical” right to abortion.

“The Supreme Court has never extended the holding of Roe or Casey to apply when a woman is willing to bear a child but wishes to terminate her pregnancy because she finds a particular child unacceptable,” Attorney General Hill said.

Last 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 Jan. 21 with the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.