7th Circuit Court of Appeals strikes Indiana’s “Dignity for the Unborn Act”

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill Urged to Appeal to the Supreme Court

CHICAGO –In a split decision delivered Thursday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the civil rights protections for unborn children provided by HEA 1337–the Dignity for the Unborn Act. The law prohibited abortions solely because of a child’s sex, race, national origin, or a potential disability, like Down syndrome.

The decision also blocked the requirement that abortion facilities treat human remains with dignity and respect, instead of throwing the bodies of these unborn children in the trash with common medical waste. The lawsuit was brought by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union. It was first blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, who has a record of siding with the abortion industry.

The 7th Circuit’s decision was 2-1. In Senior Judge Daniel Manion’s dissent regarding the fetal remains portion of the law, he wrote, “That part of Indiana’s law rationally advances Indiana’s interests in protecting public sensibilities and recognizing the dignity and humanity of the unborn.”

Sue Swayze Liebel, Vice President of Public Affairs for Indiana Right to Life, said, “This is the civil rights battle of our time.” Liebel added, “While the 7th Circuit Court’s ruling is a setback, it provides great opportunity to bring this case to the Supreme Court.”

Previous Supreme Court decisions that give states authority to regulate abortion give us great hope that the justices would side with Indiana’s right to recognize civil rights protections for children in the womb.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has a strong track record of vigorously defending laws that protect the most vulnerable, the unborn and their mothers. We urge AG Hill to appeal the Seventh Circuit Court’s ruling to the Supreme Court.