Even pro-abortion newspapers unsettled by eugenic abortions

By Dave Andrusko

U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs

On Tuesday, while my family was driving back from vacation, reliably pro-abortion U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs issued a temporary restraining order that prevented portion of Missouri’s strong pro-life legislation, HB 126, from going into effect pending the final ruling that is expected in several months.

The most high visibility component Judge Sachs invalidated was a ban on abortions performed at or after eight weeks of pregnancy. But, intriguingly, Judge Sachs did not ban enforcement of Missouri’s ban on abortions for the reasons of race, sex, or that the unborn child may have Down syndrome.

Granted, this may not last; no doubt the ACLU and others will file a lawsuit. But this may represent a wedge—or a lever—to force a discussion of whether it really should be permissible to kill a child specifically because the baby is a she and not a he; is not Caucasian; or might have Down syndrome.

Evidence? How about an editorial in the relentlessly pro-abortion Kansas City Star that while tossing bouquets to Judge Sachs for gutting the ban on abortions at or after eight weeks of pregnancy also acknowledged (as did Sachs) that “another aspect of the decision was a harder call.”

In his 11-page opinion, Judge Sachs wrote

The most challenging and novel of the issues in this case is the state’s attempt to prohibit all abortions for special reasons that are deemed contrary to public policy. … For present purposes I assume that almost everyone in our culture would be appalled by a pregnant woman’s abortion of a fetus identified as female because the woman or the family prefers that she give birth to a boy. The legal issue is whether the public, through legislation, has a right to intervene and prohibit such a discriminatory or ‘selective’ abortion” before viability.” [My underlining.]

Alluding to Justice Thomas very thoughtful concurrence in a similar case which the justices declined to address, Judge Sachs observed, “Justice Thomas demonstrated great interest in the ultimate question of a State’s authority, in his phrasing, to prevent ‘abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics,’ citing the recent State laws seeking to prevent abortions motivated by race, sex, genetic abnormality, and Down Syndrome.”

The editorial put it this way: “The Supreme Court has not decided this issue and does need to clarify it.” Read this powerful conclusion and, again, remember this is a very, very pro-abortion newspaper and editorial page:

The high court decided not to review an Indiana law that included similar discrimination provisions, but Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that we should prevent abortion “from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics” used to select for race, gender or ability.

This does present a genuine moral quandary, and raises questions that need to be decided.

Sachs reasons that allowing the discrimination provisions to go into effect for a few months won’t have much real-world impact because doctors don’t currently ask patients why they’re getting an abortion.

“Caution suggests I withhold” a preliminary injunction against the discrimination provisions of the law, he said. But Sachs also said he remains open to “an adequately supported renewed motion on this narrow issue.”

No doubt he’ll get one.

“No doubt he’ll get one”?!

Now that qualifies as encouraging news