Kentucky Attorney General Lends Support to Ohio Abortion Law

Jan 27, 2020

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Kentucky’s attorney general has joined Indiana, Tennessee, and 15 other states in urging a federal appeals court to uphold an Ohio law that bans abortions when the unborn child has Down Syndrome. 

Attorney General Daniel Cameron has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  A three-judge panel initially invalidated Ohio’s law, but the entire Sixth Circuit, which has more than a dozen judges, recently agreed to rehear the case. 

The brief argues while current law allows a woman to have an abortion, she doesn’t have the right to decide whether a child lives or dies based on a perceived disability.  The brief says those types of abortions are discriminatory against the unborn child. 

"Every life has value, and we cannot allow abortion to pre-determine the characteristics of an entire generation," Camerson said in a statement.

The Kentucky General Assembly passed an anti-eugenics bill, HB 5, in 2019, similar to the Ohio law.  The law bans abortions based on race, sex, or perceived disability of an unborn child.  A federal judge in Louisville has stayed Kentucky’s law while its constitutionality is being challenged in court. 

The federal appeals court’s decision on the Ohio law could have broad implications for Kentucky's law.