In their brief, pro-life group Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List argued that the Constitutional right to an abortion does not supersede protections against discrimination, and that the Constitution can be upheld while also protecting vulnerable populations.
"The fate of thousands of children with Down syndrome depends on laws like Indiana's that protect them from being targeted for destruction in the womb. Our nation has fought a long – but still incomplete – battle to expand legal protections and educational and social opportunities for people with disabilities," President of SBA List Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement on the brief.
The brief also notes: "Research has shown that individuals with Down syndrome are among the happiest people in the world and bring tremendous joy to their families. In some Western nations, however, children diagnosed with Down syndrome are on the verge of being eliminated from society through selective abortion."
The Bioethics Defense Fund, a legal group that advocates for the right to life, also filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of the Indiana law.
Nikolas T. Nikas, president and general counsel of Bioethics Defense Fund, said in a statement that elective abortions on the basis of sex, race or disability constitute "eugenic discrimination."
Dorinda C. Bordlee, lead counsel for the fund's brief, noted in the brief's argument that the government must protect people against discrimination "from the outset of that human being's life or not at all."
Attorney generals from 19 states also jointly filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of the Indiana law.
"The Seventh Circuit invalidated this law by purporting to find within this Court's case law a 'categorical' right to pre-viability abortion, a right that a State cannot infringe no matter how powerful its interest," the brief states.
"That conclusion is legally wrong and would perversely place the unenumerated right to pre-viability abortion above even core protections of the Bill of Rights."
"Surely a State that has the constitutional authority to protect members of the Down syndrome community from being discriminated against in employment or public accommodations can protect that same community from wholesale elimination by eugenic practices," they added.
They also noted that the anti-discrimination law is seeking to avoid the "evil practices" of countries such as Iceland and Denmark, which have a near-100 percent abortion rate of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome.
(Story continues below)
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The brief filing was led by Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, with 18 other states joining.
In a statement about joining the brief, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said that the Constitution "gives every state the inherent authority to protect life. That authority extends to enacting laws that prohibit abortion from being used as a tool to eliminate any particular segment of the population."
Other states joining the brief were attorney generals from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi.