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Supreme Court upholds Indiana abortion law on fetal remains

The Supreme Court is upholding an Indiana law that requires abortion providers to dispose of aborted fetuses in the same way as human remains.

Posted: May 28, 2019 10:45 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is upholding an Indiana law that requires abortion providers to dispose of aborted fetuses in the same way as human remains. But the justices are staying out of the debate over a broader, blocked provision that would prevent a woman in Indiana from having an abortion based on gender, race or disability.

The court split 7-2 in allowing Indiana to enforce the fetal remains measure that had been blocked by a federal appeals court. The justices said in an unsigned opinion that the case does not involve limits on abortion rights.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Ginsburg said in a short opinion that she believes that the issue does implicate a woman's right to an abortion "without undue interference from the state."

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago had blocked both provisions of a law signed by Vice President Mike Pence in 2016 when he was Indiana's governor.

The court's action Tuesday keeps it out of an election-year review of the Indiana law amid a flurry of new state laws that go the very heart of abortion rights. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey this month signed a law that would ban virtually all abortions, even in cases of incest and rape, and subject doctors who perform them to criminal prosecution. The law has yet to take effect and is being challenged in court.

Other states have passed laws that would outlaw abortions once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, typically around six weeks of gestation.

The Indiana measure that would have prevented a woman from having an abortion for reasons related to race, gender or disability gets closer to the core abortion right. While the justices declined to hear the state's appeal of that blocked provision Tuesday, they indicated that their decision "expresses no view on the merits."

Justice Clarence Thomas, who supports overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that first declared abortion rights, wrote a 20-page opinion in which he said the provision promotes "a state's compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics." No other justice joined the opinion.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 663511

Reported Deaths: 12633
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion908511647
Lake48510882
Allen35951638
Hamilton32138398
St. Joseph30096513
Elkhart25423417
Vanderburgh21283379
Tippecanoe20096203
Johnson16380360
Porter16009272
Hendricks15855300
Clark11999181
Madison11764319
Vigo11636230
Monroe10363163
Delaware9854179
LaPorte9790197
Howard9075198
Kosciusko8574111
Bartholomew7479147
Warrick7430151
Hancock7418132
Floyd7226170
Wayne6645192
Grant6437157
Boone610389
Morgan6103125
Dubois5923111
Dearborn549068
Cass545899
Marshall5432105
Henry542593
Noble510178
Jackson465167
Shelby461490
Lawrence4189113
Gibson401781
Harrison401064
Clinton396553
Montgomery388483
DeKalb386478
Miami357663
Knox357585
Whitley349837
Huntington346277
Steuben339255
Wabash332376
Putnam331159
Ripley327762
Adams323949
Jasper317043
White297452
Jefferson295474
Daviess285596
Fayette271956
Decatur271088
Greene261680
Posey261431
Wells258575
Scott251250
Clay241544
LaGrange241270
Randolph225576
Spencer218030
Jennings215744
Washington212127
Sullivan203639
Fountain201842
Starke188451
Owen182853
Fulton179337
Jay178328
Carroll176519
Perry173435
Orange171150
Rush165322
Vermillion160842
Franklin159535
Tipton146841
Parke139416
Pike127833
Blackford120727
Pulaski106744
Newton96632
Brown95139
Benton92213
Crawford91013
Martin80214
Warren75814
Switzerland7558
Union67310
Ohio53911
Unassigned0433

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