A Tennessee pro-life group is applauding a federal appeals court after it reinstated a much-debated ban that prohibits abortions based on a specific prenatal diagnosis.
Supporters of the law say it’s needed to prohibit eugenics.
The ban, part of a law known as HB 2263, makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion on a woman if the doctor knows she is doing so because of the child’s sex, race or Down syndrome diagnosis.
A federal judge previously struck down the ban, and a three-judge appeals court panel subsequently upheld the lower court decision.
But on Wednesday, the full U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the ban. The vote was 11-6.
“We applaud the Sixth Circuit for, once again, affirming the voice of the people of Tennessee and upholding this ban on abortions of children based on race, gender or genetic abnormality,” said Stacy Dunn, president of Tennessee Right to Life. “This provision, in particular, defends the most vulnerable among us and upholds the virtue that all lives matter regardless of condition or color, and it’s time this state and all states take an interest in protecting those lives.”
“This provision, in particular, defends the most vulnerable among us and upholds the virtue that all lives matter regardless of condition or color and it’s time this state and all states take an interest in protecting those lives.,” said Dunn.— tnrighttolife (@tnrighttolife) February 3, 2022
Supporters of the law said a ban is needed because abortion is being used for eugenics.
“There is substantial evidence from across the globe and in the United States that the elimination of children with unwanted characteristics is already occurring,” the legislative findings said. “The abortion rate for children diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero approaches one hundred percent (100 percent) in Iceland, ninety-eight percent (98 percent) in Denmark, ninety percent (90 percent) in the United Kingdom, and seventy-seven percent (77 percent) in France.
“Even in the United States, the abortion rate for children with Down Syndrome is sixty-seven percent (67 percent),” the findings said.
The “individualized nature of abortion,” the findings said, “creates a significant risk that prenatal screening tests and new technologies will be used to eliminate children with unwanted characteristics.”
A separate section of the law that prohibits abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected was previously struck down and is not being enforced.
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.