18 states file brief supporting Tennessee’s discrimination abortion ban

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CNA Staff, Nov 20, 2020 / 06:25 pm (CNA).- An 18-state coalition filed a brief this week supporting a Tennessee law banning abortions based on an unborn child’s race, sex, or Down syndrome diagnosis.

“Protecting the most vulnerable members of society is an interest of the utmost importance for States. And it is hard to imagine a scenario where this interest comes into sharper focus than protecting unborn children from eugenics-motivated abortions,” reads the brief, which was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

The brief was authored by Daniel Cameron, attorney general of Kentucky. The states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia also signed onto the brief.

The coalition is voicing support for a Tennessee law passed earlier this year to ban abortions that are sought on the basis of race, sex, or a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The law also bans abortion after the point at which a fetal heartbeat can be detected – as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and other pro-abortion groups have challenged the legislation. In July, U.S. District Judge William Campbell issued a temporary injunction blocking the law from taking effect while it is being challenged in court.

In their brief, the 18 states call on the appeals court to reverse the injunction and allow the law to take effect during litigation. Many of the states in the coalition are defending similar laws.

“It is firmly established that States have a compelling interest in eliminating discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and disability,” the brief says. “Unsurprisingly, the United States Supreme Court has long recognized the importance of states’ interests in preventing discrimination.”

In a statement, Attorney General Cameron noted that his office is “currently in court fighting to protect Kentucky’s own abortion discrimination ban and fetal heartbeat law, and we have a duty to assist other states in their efforts to defend similar laws that protect the unborn.”

“States have a compelling interest in enacting laws that protect our most vulnerable, and we believe that this interest is never more apparent than when we’re protecting unborn children from eugenics-based abortions,” Cameron said.

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