Planned Parenthood Files Lawsuit Over Indiana Law Banning Abortion of Down Syndrome Children

Downs Syndrome Credit Allison Stilwell
Photo Credit: Allison Stilwell

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The abortion giant Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new Indiana law that bans the murder of unborn children based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis or any other disability, but stops short of ending all abortion in the state.

As previously reportedH.B. 1337 was signed into law last month to protect babies that would otherwise be killed because of an adverse diagnosis.

“Indiana does not allow a fetus to be aborted solely because of the fetus’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, or diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability,” the bill, introduced by Rep. Casey Cox, R-Fort Wayne, reads.

It outlines that the other disabilities include physical and mental disabilities, disfigurement, scoliosis, dwarfism, albinism and amelia.

Indiana Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne, told reporters that the bill is needed as physicians sometimes encourage mothers to abort because of the child’s health or abnormality.

“What we hear from doctors is, ‘It would really be better off if you were not born,'” she lamented. “If you are born, we will love you, and we think you have equal rights and should be a member of society. In fact, we have the Americans with Disabilities Act and have to make accommodations. But we don’t want to make the accommodation before you’re born, and in fact, it would really be easier if you were not born.”

The legislation also provides requirements surrounding the disposition of babies who are aborted, requiring that they either be buried or cremated, in order to keep fetal remains out of landfills.

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“An abortion clinic or health care facility having possession of an aborted fetus shall provide for the final disposition of the aborted fetus,” it reads. “The burial transit permit requirements … apply to the final disposition of an aborted fetus, which must be interred or cremated.”

The bill states that the woman is not required to provide a name for the baby on the burial permit.

But Planned Parenthood believes that the law interferes with mothers’ wishes to have an abortion, and on Thursday, the organization filed a legal challenge in court with the assistance of the ACLU.

“This statute does something that the United States Supreme Court has said repeatedly cannot be done,” Ken Falk of the ACLU of Indiana told reporters. “It is an attempt by the state of Indiana to interfere with and actually prohibit a woman’s right to determine whether or not to have an abortion. That is a right that the United States Supreme Court has stressed that a woman absolutely has and cannot be prohibited.”

“The Supreme Court has said that there cannot be an undue burden placed on a woman’s right to an abortion. That’s the current law. This is not an undue burden—this is an absolute prohibition. You just can’t do that,” he said.

Gov. Mike Pence says that he believes the law will pass constitutional muster and has vowed to defend it in court.

“All Hoosiers have legal access to the courts, but I believe in the constitutionality of the law,” Pence remarked. “We will work with the attorney general to defend the law that enhances information expectant mothers receive and enhances protection for the unborn.”


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