Attorney General Cameron Leads 18-State Coalition in Support of Tennessee’s Discriminatory Abortion Ban, Fetal Heartbeat Law

FRANKFORT, Ky. (November 17, 2020) – 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.

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.”  

Attorney General Cameron has been a national leader in defense of abortion discrimination bans.  In January, General Cameron moved to intervene in defense of Kentucky’s fetal heartbeat bill (Senate Bill 9) and abortion discrimination ban (House Bill 5). That litigation has been stayed by a federal judge in Louisville while the Sixth Circuit resolves a challenge to an Ohio law banning eugenic-based abortions.  General Cameron also co-led an amicus brief urging the Sixth Circuit to uphold Ohio’s antidiscrimination abortion law.

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

A copy of the brief is available here.