NRL News

Sen. Cotton, Rep. Hinson File Amicus Brief to Protect Babies With Down Syndrome

by | May 14, 2021

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Representative Ashley Hinson (R-IA) filed an amicus brief in Little Rock Planning Services v. Rutledge urging the Supreme Court to uphold Arkansas’s law to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome. For text of the brief, click here

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas)

Other supporters of the brief include 65 members from the House of Representatives and Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and John Thune (R-South Dakota).

“Our society has an obligation to protect the most vulnerable, including unborn babies with disabilities. Arkansas’ law seeks to protect babies with Down syndrome from modern-day eugenicists who want to end their lives, simply because of their disability,” Sen. said Cotton. “ We stand with Arkansas and the unborn, and we will fight to uphold this law at the Supreme Court.” 

Representative Ashley Hinson (R-IA)

Rep. Hinson said,  “Every life is valuable and has dignity and our laws should reflect that. I am proud to lead this brief with Senator Cotton to ensure that abortions are never performed based on a Down syndrome diagnosis.  I will always defend the most vulnerable and stand up for the unborn.” 


  • 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 unborn baby 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 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 Supreme Court.
Categories: Judicial