NRL News

Kentucky AG leads 18-state coalition in support of pro-life Tennessee law

by | Nov 18, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

Back in July, NRL News Today posted multiple stories on the passage in Tennessee of a multi-faceted pro-life measure that, among other provisions, banned abortions except to save the mother’s life

  • If the doctor knows that the woman is seeking an abortion because of the child’s sex or race.
  • If the doctor knows the woman is seeking an abortion due to a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
  • After the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected

The ink was not dry on the pen Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee used to sign House Bill 2263 before the usual-usuals challenged the law. A clearly-sympathetic U.S. District Judge William Campbell immediately granted a temporary restraining order at the request of Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and other abortion rights groups.

Yesterday Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron “led an 18-state coalition in filing an amicus brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in support of a pro-life law recently enacted by the Tennessee legislature.” 

According to a press release from the AG’s office:

Earlier this year, the state of Tennessee passed House Bill 2263 to protect unborn children by prohibiting a physician from performing an abortion when the physician knows the abortion is sought because of the sex or race of the unborn child or because of a prenatal diagnosis indicating that the unborn child might have Down syndrome.  The bill also includes a timing provision, which bans abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. 

A district court enjoined both the antidiscrimination provision and the timing provision of the law.  The 18-state coalition asks the Sixth Circuit to reverse the district court’s decision and allow the law to go into effect.  The coalition writes in the brief that, “all of the amici states have a compelling interest in seeing that States retain the general power to legislate for the well-being of their most vulnerable citizens.” Many of the states within the coalition have enacted antidiscrimination laws like Tennessee’s. 

“We’re currently in court fighting to protect Kentucky’s own abortion discrimination ban and fetal heartbeat law, and we have a duty to assist other states in their efforts to defend similar laws that protect the unborn,” said Attorney General Cameron.  “States have a compelling interest in enacting laws that protect our most vulnerable, and we believe that this interest is never more apparent than when we’re protecting unborn children from eugenics-based abortions.”  

AG Cameron authored the brief. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia joined in in filing it.

You can read the brief here.

Categories: Judicial