By Dave Andrusko
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence last week added to his pro-life credentials by signing HEA 1337, a comprehensive measure which, among other provisions, protects unborn babies who would be aborted because of a disability or because of their gender (almost always girls).
Indiana joins North Dakota in prohibiting abortions based on a prenatal diagnosis of disabilities such as Down syndrome.
In his statement, Gov. Pence said
“Throughout my public career, I have stood for the sanctity of life. HEA 1337 is a comprehensive pro-life measure that affirms the value of all human life, which is why I signed it into law today.
“I believe that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable—the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn. HEA 1337 will ensure the dignified final treatment of the unborn and prohibits abortions that are based only on the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability, including Down syndrome.
“Some of my most precious moments as Governor have been with families of children with disabilities, especially those raising children with Down syndrome. These Hoosiers never fail to inspire me with their compassion and these special children never fail to move me with their love and joy.
“Gov. Pence has long been a champion for the unborn and their mothers,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “By signing the dignity for the unborn bill, Gov. Pence has again signified his commitment to protecting life. We are pleased that our state values life no matter an individual’s potential disability, gender or race. We also believe that the other measures in the bill are positive steps forward for providing dignity and compassion.”
According to Indiana Right to Life, HEA 1337 “puts into law Hoosiers’ longstanding values that babies shouldn’t be aborted because of disability, gender or race. In addition, it provides perinatal hospice information to parents who receive a negative prenatal diagnosis. It imposes respectful disposal methods of aborted fetal remains so that baby body parts aren’t comingled with gall bladders and treated as medical waste. It prohibits the transportation of an aborted baby into or out of Indiana except for the purpose of final disposition. It also increases informed consent for women by prohibiting group counseling before an abortion so that the woman has an opportunity to discuss the upcoming abortion procedure in private.”
Pro-abortionists were harshly critical, asserting the law is unenforceable and discriminatory and vowed to challenge HEA 1337 in court.
“It is clear the governor is more comfortable practicing medicine without a license,” said Betty Cokrum, head of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky [PPINK] in a statement, “than behaving as a responsible lawyer, as he picks and chooses which constitutional rights are appropriate.”
The group added, “PPINK is now working with the ACLU of Indiana to seek judicial review and fully expects to file a complaint and request for preliminary injunction.”