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Rubio Joins Colleagues in Filing Amicus Brief to Protect Unborn Babies With Down Syndrome

May 13, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), including Representative Ashley Hinson (R-IA), and colleagues filed an amicus brief in Little Rock Planning Services v. Rutledge urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Arkansas’s law banning elective abortions on unborn babies solely due to a Down syndrome diagnosis. For full text of the brief, click here
Other supporters of the brief include 65 members from the House of Representatives and Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), John Boozman (R-AR), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Kennedy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jim Risch (R-ID), and John Thune (R-SD).
“The right to life is the most fundamental and sacred of all human rights, and it is unconscionable that some would deny an unborn baby that right because of a Down syndrome diagnosis,” Rubio said. “Every single human being – regardless of their chromosome count – is entitled to the protection of our laws from the very moment of conception.”
“Our society has an obligation to protect the most vulnerable, including unborn babies with disabilities,” Cotton said. “Arkansas’ law seeks to protect babies with Down syndrome from modern-day eugenicists who want to end their lives, simply because of their disability. We stand with Arkansas and the unborn, and we will fight to uphold this law at the Supreme Court.” 

  •  Rutledge v. Little Rock Family Planning Services involves a 2019 Arkansas law that prohibits medical providers from performing abortions if the sole reason for the abortion is a prenatal test indicating that the fetus has Down syndrome.
  • A district court blocked the law from taking effect, and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit – relying on Roberts’ concurrence in June Medical– affirmed that ruling in January.
  • Two judges on the panel wrote separately to say they regret the outcome even though they believe binding precedent requires it.
  • Arkansas has filed a petition for review with the U.S. Supreme Court.

On January 28, 2021, Rubio joined Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and their colleagues in reintroducing the Protecting Individuals with Down Syndrome Act which would ban a doctor from performing an abortion being sought because the unborn child has Down syndrome.