Friday, July 01, 2016

Court Strikes Down Indiana's So-Called Anti-Discrimination Ban on Abortions

In Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc. v. Commissioner, Indiana State Department of Health, (SD IN, June 30, 2016), an Indiana federal district court issued a preliminary injunction against enforcing new regulation of abortions and abortion practices that were scheduled to take effect today.  One new prohibition (the so-called anti-discrimination provisions) bars abortion even before viability if the reason is the sex of the fetus, the fetus has been diagnosed with Down's syndrome or any other disability, or because of the race, color, national origin or ancestry of the fetus. The second provision requires abortion providers to inform their patients of these restrictions. The third provision alters the way in which healthcare providers must dispose of fetal tissue.  The court concluded:
nothing in Roe, Casey, or any other subsequent Supreme Court decisions suggests that a woman’s right to choose an abortion prior to viability can be restricted if exercised for a certain reason. The right to a pre-viability abortion is categorical.
Focusing on the fetal tissue disposal requirements, the court said that it:
can find no legal support for the State’s position that it has a legitimate state interest in “promoting respect for human life by ensuring proper disposal of fetal remains."
Chicago Tribune reports on the decision.