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Nonprofit seeks to defend AZ law prohibiting Down syndrome abortions

Abortionists filed suit to kill law that prevents Down syndrome babies from being targeted for death because of their disability
Published On: 10/14/2021

Related Case: Isaacson v. Brnovich


PHOENIX – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a nonprofit organization that assists and provides support to children and families experiencing Down syndrome filed a motion in federal court Wednesday that asks it to let the group intervene in defense of Arizona’s law that prevents babies from being aborted for having the disability.

Two abortionists and three organizations who oppose the protections for Down syndrome babies filed a lawsuit, Isaacson v. Brnovich, seeking to have SB 1457, the law containing those protections, struck down. Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona is asking the court to allow it to enter the case so that it can help defend the law.

“Every unborn life is valuable, precious, and worthy of protection,” said ADF Senior Counsel Denise Burke. “Among other things, Senate Bill 1457 ensures that babies, including those with Down syndrome, are not targeted for death because of their genetic makeup. While it should be common sense to support such a law, abortionists and others with a vested interest in seeing such abortions continue have sued to tear it down. Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona has a direct interest in seeing that they do not succeed with such an inhumane plan.”

Since 2011, the state of Arizona has prohibited persons from “perform[ing] an abortion knowing that the abortion is sought based on the sex or race of the child or the race of a parent of that child.” In 2021, Arizona added to its ban on discriminatory abortions based on sex and race by including a prohibition against discriminatory abortions based on genetic abnormalities, such as Down syndrome.

“The legal challenge filed by the Plaintiffs [the two abortionists and three organizations] in this matter directly implicates Sharing Down Syndrome’s interests because it seeks to block crucial new legal protections for those with Down syndrome,” the motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona explains. “These protections can help ensure that children diagnosed with Down syndrome receive the same right to life and chance to grow and develop as babies without diagnosed genetic abnormalities.”

“If Plaintiffs are successful, children with Down syndrome are likely to continue to be discriminatorily aborted based on the genetic abnormalities with which they are diagnosed,” the motion continues. “Plaintiffs’ success in ensuring that babies with Down syndrome are stripped of legal protections against discrimination will also inhibit Sharing Down Syndrome’s ability to reach, educate, and support children and families experiencing Down syndrome. As a result, Sharing Down Syndrome has unique interests to defend and information to supply to this Court in this litigation.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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