Pro-abortion big guns firing against Indiana law that would ban aborting Down syndrome babies
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky last week told the U.S. Supreme Court it should reject a petition filed in October by Indiana’s Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. that asks the court to allow House Enrolled Act 1337 to take effect.
The Indiana law, authored by then-Rep. Casey Cox (R-District 85) of Fort Wayne, would ban abortions sought because of a fetus’ genetic abnormality, gender, race or ancestry. It also mandates that miscarried or aborted fetuses be buried or cremated.
A 60-40 vote in the Indiana House in March 2016 sent the proposal to then-Gov. Mike Pence, who gave it his signature of approval. But the day before the law would have taken effect in July, Indiana U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted a preliminary injunction against the legislation, sought by the ACLU and PPINK, who sued the state that April, saying the law is unconstitutional and violates women’s privacy rights.
News-Sentinel.com supports the law because it is unconscionable in our view that, for example, a baby’s life could be deliberately terminated within the womb because it has a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision denied what we believe is a constitutional right to life for all pre-born babies.
Judge Pratt argued that the Indiana law would go against Supreme Court rulings that have declared states may not prohibit a woman from seeking an abortion before a fetus is able to live outside the womb, writing that “a woman’s right to choose an abortion … is protected, which, of course, leaves no room for the state to examine the basis or bases upon which a woman makes her choice.”
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Pratt’s ruling in August this year.
We praise the efforts of legislators and others in Indiana who have made great strides in trying to reverse the effects of Roe v. Wade. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) said after HEA 1337 passed in 2016, “Those unborn children are Hoosiers, they have constitutional rights and that’s what I voted to protect. If this could save a life, it was worth the vote.”
Cathie Humbarger, executive director of Allen County Right to Life, said in a statement at that time, “We mourn for the unborn babies who will continue to be targeted for abortion, including baby girls because of their gender, and children with a Down syndrome diagnosis. All children are worthy of dignity, and Judge Pratt has stripped them of that dignity.”
Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter said in a statement, “This ruling is an appalling human rights injustice, and we urge the state to appeal.”
So that’s what Attorney General Hill has done. And now the pro-abortion big guns are firing again.
The ACLU and PPINK said the Supreme Court has made clear that a fetus is not a person under the U.S. Constitution, and the disposal of embryonic or fetal tissue need not be treated the same as human remains.
We vehemently disagree. A fetus is a person, and until the law recognizes what science has made more and more clear, our courts will continue to legislate against human life.
“By declaring unconstitutional a state law that would bar abortions based solely on race, sex or disability such as Down syndrome,” Hill said in a statement to the Indianapolis Star after the law was first roadblocked by Judge Pratt, “a federal judge has cleared the path for genetic discrimination that once seemed like science fiction. This state has a compelling interest in protecting the dignity of the unborn, and in ensuring they are not selected for termination simply because they lack preferred physical characteristics.”
A Supreme Court decision on whether to consider Indiana’s appeal is expected early next year.