May 13, 2021

Cassidy, Cotton, Colleagues File Amicus Brief to Protect Babies With Down Syndrome

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) and U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson (IA-01) filed an amicus brief in Little Rock Planning Services v. Rutledge urging the court to uphold Arkansas’s law to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome.

“All life is sacred and precious. Arkansas’ law rightfully protects the lives of unborn children who have Down syndrome. This brief lends our support as the Supreme Court considers this case,” said Dr. Cassidy. 

“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. We stand with Arkansas and the unborn, and we will fight to uphold this law at the Supreme Court,” said Cotton.

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), 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), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and John Thune (R-SD).


  • 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 Supreme Court.