By Dave Andrusko
On Wednesday we posted a story outlining how 18 states had come to together in support of Tennessee’s House Bill 2263. As you recall, no sooner had the law passed than U.S. District Judge William Campbell immediately granted a temporary restraining order at the request of Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and other abortion rights groups.
Tennessee’s multi-faceted pro-life measure, among other provisions, banned abortions except to save the mother’s life
- If the doctor knows that the woman is seeking an abortion because of the child’s sex or race.
- If the doctor knows the woman is seeking an abortion due to a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
“All life should be celebrated and all people, regardless of their genetics, should be afforded the right to life. Unfortunately, a growing side-effect of advancements in fetal screening technology is the allowance of eugenics-minded abortion,” said Texas Attorney General Paxton. “Killing a child in the womb simply because they possess different physical or mental capabilities than their parents envisioned is a barbaric act of discrimination against the helpless. We must end the baseless and demeaning stereotype that a life with disabilities is not worth living. Laws protecting the unborn from such violent discrimination must stand.”
As NRL News Today readers may recall, back in January Texas also filed an amicus brief defending a similar anti-eugenics law in Ohio that specifically protected those with Down syndrome from harm prior to birth.
In the 34-page brief, the coalition raised many important considerations. Here are just two. First….
Protecting the most vulnerable members of society is an interest of the utmost importance for States. And it is hard to imagine a scenario where this interest comes into sharper focus than protecting unborn children from eugenics-motivated abortions. The State of Tennessee recently sought to vindicate this interest by enacting House Bill 2263. In particular, the “antidiscrimination provision” in Section 217 of the bill prohibits a physician from performing an abortion when the physician knows the abortion is sought because of the sex of the unborn child, the race of the unborn child, or a prenatal diagnosis, test, or screening indicating that the unborn child might have Down syndrome.
Think about that for a moment. Who could possibly be more vulnerable than a helpless, totally dependent unborn child? States do have an “interest of utmost interest.” Add to that the hideous eugenic motivation, and it is easy to see why pro-abortionists are unnerved by these kinds of challenges.
The district court enjoined Section 217 based on the void-for vagueness doctrine. As Tennessee’s opening Brief eruditely explains, the district court’s analysis in this regard was fundamentally flawed. There is nothing impermissibly vague about the prohibition in Section 217. Any reasonable person of normal intelligence can understand what conduct is prohibited by statutory language that bans the performance of an abortion when a doctor “knows that the woman is seeking the abortion because of the sex of the unborn child . . . the race of the unborn child . . . [or] a prenatal diagnosis, test, or screening indicating Down syndrome or the potential for Down syndrome in the unborn child.
Pro-abortionists hate it when their real motivations are exposed and even more so when sharp-eyed litigants and judges spot the holes in their flawed argument. This is nothing vaguely vague about what this law proscribes: you can’t abort because you don’t like the child’s sex, race, or because she may have Down syndrome.
The brief is worth reading. It’s found here.