Lankford Joins Amicus Brief to Protect Babies With Down Syndrome

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) to file 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. For text of the brief, click HERE

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), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), 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), 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).

“One of the most heart-breaking types of abortions are those committed because the child is diagnosed in the womb with a disability like Down Syndrome,” said Lankford. “Arkansas is trying to be sure all babies have a right to life. To know someone with Down Syndrome is to love someone with Down Syndrome. I offer my full support for the Court to take up this case in the hope that we will have more bright sparks and smiling faces in our lives, not fewer.”

“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.


  • 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 US 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.