The federal government has backed an Ohio law that prohibits abortions based on a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
In its recent filing, the DOJ insisted that nothing in the restriction “creates a substantial obstacle to women obtaining an abortion” and noted that the law simply seeks to unborn babies from being destroyed as a result of their disability.
“The Department of Justice today filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the full United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in support of the constitutionality of an Ohio law prohibiting abortion providers from performing an abortion they know is sought because of Down syndrome,” the DOJ wrote in a press release January 21.
The department’s Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division added that “Ohio’s Antidiscrimination Law affirms that people with Down syndrome have lives worth living and protecting” and declared that “the federal government has an interest in the equal dignity of those who live with disabilities.”
Dreiband also highlighted that the “law also protects the medical profession from harm to its integrity and protects women from abortion providers who may seek to pressure them into obtaining an abortion because of Down syndrome.”
Justin E. Herdman, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, noted that the state law “prevents discrimination against individuals with Down syndrome” and that, accordingly, “the state of Ohio’s interests in this matter are fully aligned with those of the United States and we are not only entitled, but compelled, to weigh in as a friend of the Court.”
It is an exciting time for pro-life activists, with the DOJ’s statements being released just 24 hours before President Trump declared January 22 as “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.”
In a proclamation signed Monday, the President declared that “every person — the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm, and the elderly” possesses “inherent value” and that “the rights of all people must be defended.”
“On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our Nation proudly and strongly reaffirms our commitment to protect the precious gift of life at every stage,” he wrote, “from conception to natural death.”
The President also announced late yesterday that he will be personally attending Friday’s “March for Life” event.