State will appeal Judge Young’s decision to block Indiana abortion law that require burial or cremation of fetal remains

By Dave Andrusko

Three years after the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law that required fetal remains from an abortion be buried or cremated, U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young declared that the law “violates the U.S. Constitution because it infringes upon the religious and free speech rights of people who do not believe aborted fetuses deserve the same treatment as deceased people,” Johnny Magdaleno reported. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said Tuesday his office will appeal the ruling.

The United States  Supreme Court “upheld the law’s fetal disposition provisions in May 2019, allowing the state to enforce the requirement that abortion clinics either bury or cremate fetal remains following an abortion,” the Associated Press reported. “The court’s ruling found that the state of Indiana had a legitimate interest in how fetal remains are disposed.”

In a statement Tuesday, Rokita pointed to that victory saying the law “safeguards human dignity.”

Judge Young was unpersuaded.

“The Constitution prohibits ‘mechanisms, overt or disguised, designed to persecute or oppress a religion or its practices,'” Young wrote in his Monday decision. “The fetal disposition requirements (in Indiana) are contrary to that principle.”

“One of the women, who identifies as a Baptist, maintained that her religious beliefs prevented her from ‘burying or cremating the tissue from my abortion’ and she believes that ‘burial and cremation are religious rituals reserved for people and animals with souls,’” Allison Dunn reported. “The other woman said, she did ‘not believe that an embryo or fetus is a person’ and that she did not want the remains to be buried or cremated because ‘burial and cremation are religious rituals that signal the death of a person,’ and are not appropriate for a fetus,’” according to Judge Young’s opinion.