Attorney General Schimel: Leads coalition supporting state laws that ban abortion based on disability, gender, or race

MADISON, Wis. – Today, Attorney General Brad Schimel announced that he is leading a 20-state collation supporting state laws that ban abortion based on disability, gender, or race.

“Discrimination based on disability, gender, and race should never be tolerated, especially when practiced against our most vulnerable citizens: the unborn,” said Attorney General Schimel. “If states have the right to ban discrimination in employment, they certainly should have the right to enact laws protecting the unborn from this unjust discrimination.”

On March 24, 2016, Indiana enacted a law prohibiting abortions based on disability, gender, or race, and to regulate the respectful disposition of human remains. A federal judge struck down Indiana’s law, and Indiana appealed the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. On Wednesday, Wisconsin filed a brief in support of Indiana; the brief was supported by the following: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, The Michigan Attorney General, and Governor Phil Bryant of the State of Mississippi.

Abortion anti-discrimination laws address alarming new abortion trends. According to most estimates, 50% or more of pregnant women in the United States who are informed that their child will be born with Down syndrome eliminate that child. Other journals and news reports put this figure at 67% or even as high as 90%. These practices are partly due to the pressure that some women experience from doctors to abort unborn children with Down syndrome. Moreover, gender-selection abortions are also common in some communities in the United States.

On October 25, 2017, Congress heard moving testimony from Frank Stephens, a disability-rights activist who himself has Down syndrome. “A notion is being sold that maybe we don’t need to continue to do research concerning Down syndrome. Why? Because there are pre‐natal screens that will identify Down syndrome in the womb, and we can just terminate those pregnancies.” Mr. Stephens explained that recent efforts to “eliminate” Down syndrome are nothing more than “people pushing [a] particular ‘final solution’ [ ] that people [with Down syndrome] should not exist. They are saying that [people with Down syndrome] have too little value to exist.”

By supporting laws like Indiana’s ban on abortion discrimination, Attorney General Schimel affirms Mr. Stephens’s poignant claim that those like him are equal human beings. These laws advance the vital cause of demonstrating to society that all human beings—including women, racial minorities, and those with disabilities—have lives “worth living.”

Mr. Stephens’s testimony can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQJEoRhkapw

See also Frank Stephens, Testimony Before House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education 1 (Oct. 25, 2017):
http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP07/20171025/106526/HHRG-115-AP07-Wstate-StephensF-20171025.pdf

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