Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has joined Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost in filing a brief with the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals urging the court to uphold a Tennessee law that prohibit abortion where a doctor has knowledge that the abortion is sought because the unborn child has Down syndrome or because of the unborn child’s race or gender.
Tennessee’s anti-discrimination abortion law was recently ruled unconstitutional by a three panel of the 6th Circuit due to its “knowledge requirement.” The panel’s decision came even though the full court rejected a constitutional challenge to Ohio’s nearly identical law just five months ago.
“An unborn child is no less worthy of life because of their gender, race, or a Down syndrome diagnosis, and discriminatory abortions based on these characteristics have no place in society,” said Attorney General Cameron. “Kentuckians made their position on this issue known when our General Assembly passed a law prohibiting discriminatory abortions, and we are proud to now stand with Tennessee in support of its law.”
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Attorneys General Cameron and Yost wrote
Barely five months ago, this Court rejected a due-process challenge to Ohio’s law. Nonetheless, the panel majority in this case held that Tennessee’s “nearly identical” law violated the Due Process Clause. (Thapar, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). The panel majority rested its ruling on a theory so farfetched that no party or judge in Ohio’s case ever bothered to raise it. The majority’s decision is wrong. It casts doubt on Ohio and Kentucky laws regarding eugenic abortions. And it calls into question the constitutionality of the many criminal laws that require the government to prove that the defendant knew “the motivations underlying the action of another person.”
The brief continues
The panel majority effectively overruled Preterm. Whereas Preterm held that the knowledge requirement in Ohio’s Anti-Discrimination Law saved the law from being held unconstitutional, the panel majority held that the nearly identical knowledge requirement in Tennessee’s anti-discrimination law made the law unconstitutional. In particular, the majority said that the knowledge requirement made the provision unconstitutionally vague. In other words, the same element that led the en banc Court to uphold Ohio’s law in Preterm led the panel majority to strike down Tennessee’s law in this case.
The Kentucky and Ohio amicus brief asks the full Sixth Circuit to rehear the case. To view a copy of the amicus brief, click here.
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.