DOJ Lawyers Argue on Behalf of Down Syndrome Babies

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Lawyers in the Trump administration joined forces with Ohio leaders on Wednesday, arguing in favor of protections for unborn babies.

The lawyers argued in a case currently before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case involves an Ohio law that prohibits abortions targeting unborn babies because of a Down syndrome diagnosis, their sex or race.

Lawyers with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division urged the judges to recognize that preborn baby humans deserve the same civil rights of humans who have already been born, according to The Hill. 

Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said, “Ohio’s anti-discrimination law affirms that people with Down syndrome have lives worth living and protecting.”

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.”

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.

In an op-ed for 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.

Adams continued:

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.”

According to Lifenews:

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.”

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.

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.

No child diagnosed with potentially having Down Syndrome deserves to be killed simply because they are unwanted for being diagnosed as potentially “abnormal.”

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