Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Ind. Courts - More on: Hearing on challenge to Indiana's newest abortion restrictions is this morning in federal court
A federal judge weighing whether to block a new Indiana law banning abortions sought because of a fetus' genetic abnormalities sounded skeptical of the measure during a Tuesday hearing, saying it seemed likely to infringe on some women's right to an abortion. * * *
The law would ban abortions sought due to fetal genetic abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, or because of the race, sex or ancestry of a fetus. If upheld, Indiana would join North Dakota as the only two states to ban abortions sought due to genetic fetal abnormalities.
U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said during Tuesday's hearing on the injunction request that it appeared clear the new law would invade the privacy of some women by preventing them from getting an abortion.
"How can it be described as anything but a prohibition on the right to an abortion?" Pratt asked Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher during the hour-long hearing.
Fisher said the new law is a response to DNA testing advances that permit fetuses to be screened for genetic defects or to determine their sex. He said the state has an interest in "preventing discrimination" against fetuses slated for abortion based on such test results. * * *
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana joined Planned Parenthood in challenging the new law. Its legal director, Ken Falk, is representing Planned Parenthood in the case. * * *
If the law takes effect, Falk said women seeking an abortion because test results show their fetus may have a genetic defect, or women who don't want to have a child due to their own genetic predisposition to a serious illness would not be able to get one in Indiana. * * *
Indiana's law would also require that aborted fetuses be disposed of through burial or cremation. Planned Parenthood is also challenging the fetal disposal provision, as is Indiana University in a separate lawsuit which argues that it would prevent its scientists from acquiring fetal tissue for scientific research and sharing it with other institutions.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 14, 2016 02:08 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts