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COLUMBUS, Ohio (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Department of Justice (DOJ) is coming to the defense of Ohio's unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome.
In a friend-of-the-court brief filed on Tuesday, the DOJ is supporting Ohio's ban on eugenic abortions as the law heads to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The DOJ noted in its brief that those with birth defects still have lives of equal dignity and are worthy of protection.
"A prohibition on abortion providers from knowingly performing abortions based on disability — like a prohibition on knowingly participating in assisted suicides — replaces 'negative messages' with a public statement that the lives of individuals with 'disabil[ities] must be no less valued than the lives' of others," said the department.
The ban, signed into law by Ohio Gov. John Kasich in December 2017, was later struck down by a U.S. District Court before it could be enforced in March 2018. A split ruling from a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed the lower court's decision. The full court of the Sixth Circuit, however, subsequently ruled to rehear the state's appeal of its ban.
In signing the brief for the DOJ, Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said, "The federal government has an interest in the equal dignity of those who live with disabilities."
"Nothing in the Constitution requires Ohio to authorize abortion providers to participate in abortions the providers know are based on Down syndrome," added Dreiband.
Dreiband's assertion that those born with Down syndrome lead lives of equal dignity is supported even by secular news agencies reporting that parents who rear children diagnosed with Down syndrome are happier because of it.
NBC News in 2011 cited a study by Dr. Brian Skotko, a clinical fellow in genetics at Children's Hospital Boston, that found: "Among 2,044 parents or guardians surveyed, 79% reported their outlook on life was more positive because of their child with Down syndrome."
Skotko's study also revealed that siblings of children with Down syndrome were actually happier. In addition, it found that "among siblings ages 12 and older, 97% expressed feelings of pride about their brother or sister with Down syndrome and 88% were convinced they were better people because of their sibling with Down syndrome."
The study further concluded that children with Down syndrome also grew up to be happy adults.
According to the report, "A third study evaluating how adults with Down syndrome felt about themselves reports 99% responded they were happy with their lives, 97% liked who they are and 96% liked how they looked."
Ohio is one of a handful of states that have attempted to block abortions based on fetal abnormalities. Other states include Indiana, South Dakota and Oklahoma.