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Isaacson v. Mayes

Description:  Two abortionists and three organizations who oppose legal protections for Down syndrome babies filed a lawsuit seeking to have SB 1457, the Arizona law containing those protections, struck down.

A pregnant woman by a window
Friday, Sep 8, 2023

WHO:  Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT:  Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Isaacson v. Mayes

WHEN:  Immediately following hearing, which begins at 10:30 a.m. PDT, Monday, Sept. 11

WHERE:  U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Courtroom #503, Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse, 401 W. Washington St., Phoenix, or view the livestream. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Manager Bernadette Tasy at (480) 356-0324.

PHOENIX – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews following oral arguments Monday in Isaacson v. Mayes. In the case, ADF attorneys represent the president of the Arizona Senate and the speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, who have intervened to defend a state law that prevents children from being aborted simply for having a disability.

Two abortionists and three organizations who oppose protections for babies with genetic abnormalities filed a lawsuit seeking to have SB 1457, the law containing those protections, struck down. A federal district court ruled in March to allow Speaker Ben Toma and President Warren Petersen to intervene in defense of the law.

“No child—born or unborn—should be discriminated against because of her race, sex, or disability,” said ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle, who will be arguing on behalf of the two legislative leaders. “Arizona’s life-affirming law ensures that babies, including those with Down syndrome, are not targeted for death because of their genetic makeup. While common sense says that this law deserves everyone’s support, the abortion industry continues to push for and profit from abortions targeting children for their genetics, physical appearance, and other inherent immutable traits. We urge the 9th Circuit to reject plaintiffs’ challenge to this law.”

Since 2011, the state of Arizona has protected unborn babies from racial and sex discrimination. In 2021, Arizona added protections against discriminatory abortions based on non-fatal genetic anomalies, such as Down syndrome.

  • Pronunciation guide: Harle (HAR’-lee)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Denise Harle

Denise Harle serves as senior counsel on the Center for Life Team at Alliance Defending Freedom. Prior to joining ADF, Harle served as deputy solicitor general in the Office of the Florida Attorney General, where she drafted appellate briefs and presented oral arguments on behalf of the state in a wide variety of constitutional cases, including defending the constitutionality of pro-life laws. In 2017, she participated in the prestigious Supreme Court Fellow program, sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General. She clerked for Justice Ricky L. Polston on the Florida Supreme Court and worked for several years as an appellate litigator at a large firm in California. Harle earned bachelor’s degrees, summa cum laude, in psychology and interdisciplinary social science from Florida State University, a master’s degree in political science from Stanford University, and a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law. At Duke, she served as the executive editor of Law & Contemporary Problems. A member of the state bars of California, Florida, and Georgia, she is admitted to multiple federal district and appellate courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.