Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a 12-state effort, led by West Virginia, in defending the right of states to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and a 20-state coalition led by Wisconsin to prevent discriminatory abortion based on disability, gender and race. These cases present crucial arguments to uphold state laws that protect the lives of unborn children.

The West Virginia-led coalition’s brief supports the state of North Carolina, and relies upon a growing scientific consensus that a fetus is capable of experiencing pain at the 20-week threshold, if not before. The brief, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, supports the constitutionality of the state’s 20-week law as applied to abortions both before and after the point of viability.

The Wisconsin-led coalition addresses alarming new abortion trends of discrimination-based abortion, such as ending a pregnancy when unborn children are diagnosed with Down syndrome. This brief, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, supports Indiana’s law prohibiting abortions based on discrimination. These practices are partly due to the pressure that some women experience from doctors to abort unborn children with Down syndrome, along with the rise of gender-selection abortions in the United States.

“States have a valid interest in protecting the dignity of human life, and defending human life at all stages of development,” Attorney General Paxton said. “No society should tolerate brutal abortion procedures, or killing an unborn child based on discriminatory beliefs regarding disability, gender or race.”

Texas joined the West Virginia-led brief with attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota.