As we first told you about here, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard the case Preterm-Cleveland v. Lance Himes. The American Center for Law & Justice filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the parties asking the Court to overturn the lower court and allow the state of Ohio to enforce H.B. 214, the Prohibit Abortion if Unborn Has or May Have Down Syndrome bill.
As we explained at the time:
The bill was signed into law in December 2017 by Governor John Kasich, but a lawsuit was brought soon after by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood asking for a judge to preliminarily enjoin the enforcement of the statute while the court examined the constitutionality of the statute. The judge at the lower court sided with the plaintiffs and blocked the enforcement of the law.
Ultimately, on October 11, 2019, the Court affirmed the decision of the lower court, agreeing that the Bill would not be upheld and could not be enforced. This was a disappointing decision in the fight to protect babies from being aborted simply because they might have a disability.
Thankfully, we have not yet reached the end of this fight. After receiving the discouraging decision, the appellants then asked that the case be reheard, this time by the entire Sixth Circuit. The Court agreed.
Now, the case will be heard by all of the judges on the Sixth Circuit, not simply a three judge panel as with the previous hearing.
The amicus brief that the ACLJ filed for the previous hearing of this case still stands as part of the record for the rehearing for consideration by the judges, which is scheduled to take place March 11, 2020.
As we detailed previously:
In our brief, we write in support of the state of Ohio’s right to enforce H.B. 214. In our argument, we outline the ramifications of prohibiting the enforcement of this law. Specifically, we remind the Court that individuals with Down Syndrome are offered great protection against discrimination by the state after they are born and argue that these protections against discrimination should also apply to these individuals before then.
Additionally, we walk the Court down the road where the prohibition of these kinds of laws leads. For example, if the state cannot be permitted to protect individuals with Down Syndrome against abortion, will the state also be prohibited from banning sex-selective abortions? We offer the court evidence from around the world of the gender disparity happening today because of the rise of gender-selective abortions that target the female population.
Finally, we ask the Court to consider that if our society – and our judicial system – permits the targeted extermination of individuals with Down Syndrome, it will be a gateway into a new eugenics movement. We remember times in history when groups of people have been permitted to decide what kinds of “others” were not worthy of life, and the catastrophic ramifications that have occurred. This is a real danger if the status quo is maintained and babies with Down Syndrome continue to be aborted at current rates.
Thank you for your support while we prepared our brief, and for your continued support as the parties and judges prepare for its rehearing. May we all remember to pray for wisdom for those appointed to adjudicate these cases that are so crucial in the fight for life.
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