By Dave Andrusko
Calling Monday’s decision by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt “genetic discrimination,” Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said yesterday that he plans to appeal the permanent injunction Judge Pratt issued against HEA 1337 to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, the Indianapolis Star reported.
AG Hill sent a statement to the Indianapolis Star, according to reporter Fatima Hussein:
“By declaring unconstitutional a state law that would bar abortions based solely on race, sex or disability such as Down syndrome, a federal judge has cleared the path for genetic discrimination that once seemed like science fiction,” Hill said Monday in a written statement .
“This state has a compelling interest in protecting the dignity of the unborn and in ensuring they are not selected for termination simply because they lack preferred physical characteristics,” Hill stated.
“Further, requiring that the remains of deceased unborn children be accorded at least the dignity of low-cost burials or cremation is hardly an impingement of anyone’s individual rights.”
As NRL News Today reported, when Judge Pratt issued her preliminary injunction in June 2016, she made it abundantly clear she would likely find the law unconstitutional.
In her 22-page decision issued Monday, Pratt concluded, “The United States Supreme Court has stated in categorical terms that a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.”
HEA 1337 was signed into law by pro-life Governor (and now Vice President) Mike Pence. The measure bans abortions based on a prenatal diagnosis of disabilities such as Down syndrome. HEA 1337 also protects unborn babies who would be aborted because of their gender (almost always girls). In addition the law requires that the remains of aborted babies be disposed of in a dignified fashion.
Enacted in March 2016, the law was challenged the following month by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky which filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The law had been scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2016.
North Dakota is the only other state that prohibits abortions based on a prenatal diagnosis of disabilities such as Down syndrome.
However Ohio’s S.B. 164–the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act–is working its way through the legislative process.