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Indiana asks SCOTUS to protect disabled babies

Anti-discrimination laws are the latest front in abortion battle

The State of Indiana has asked the US Supreme Court to consider a state law at the forefront of the abortion battle.

At issue is a 2016 state law which made it illegal to abort an unborn child “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 law was signed by Vice President Mike Pence, who was Indiana’s governor at the time. It was challenged almost immediately by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, and a US District Court judge issued a permanent injunction against it just over a year ago. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with that decision last month, declaring the law unconstitutional.

On Friday of last week, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill petitioned the US Supreme Court to consider the case.

“The non-discrimination provision is a qualitatively new type of abortion regulation, one that neither implicates the concerns underlying Roe and Casey nor burdens the right those cases ultimately protect … It regulates women who have already made the decision ‘to bear or beget a child,’ but simply do not want to bear a particular child.”

Similar legislation has been passed in Ohio and North Dakota.

Politically, the case puts abortion supporters in the difficult position of having to defend the right to selective abortion while attacking a measure which outlaws discrimination based on sex, race, and disability.

The outcome of Hill’s request and a potential SCOTUS review could result in a significant shift in the national debate over abortion; finding such selective abortions to be legally discriminatory would seem to validate the position that an unborn child should legally be considered a person.

Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels

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