A federal judge has struck down an Indiana law that would ban abortions sought because of fetal genetic abnormalities, protecting unborn babies from discrimination based on their sex, race or abilities.
According to The Indy Channel, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt found the law to be “unconstitutional” and granted an order that that would block it from being enforced.
The order stems from a suit filed in April 2016, when Judge Pratt halted the law at the request of Planned Parenthood.
The law itself made Indiana the second state in the U.S. to effectively ban abortions of babies with Down syndrome or another genetic disorder, and also had other “requirements” regarding the abortion process.
House Bill 1337 included in its non-discrimination ban the requirement to have aborted or miscarried bodies “cremated or buried and another requirement that abortionists who have hospital admitting privileges renew them annually.”
However, Pratt argues this law, particularly the inability to abort due to a genetic abnormality, goes against a woman’s right to her body.
“The lack of authority supporting the state’s position likely stems from the fact that it is contrary to the core legal rights on which a woman’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy prior to viability are predicated,” Pratt wrote.
According to Courthouse News, she also “struck down another provision dictating how the remains of a fetus are to be handled” on the grounds that they should “be treated the same way under law as the remains of a deceased person.”
Abortion is one of the most common medical procedures performed in America every year. Elective abortions allow that procedure to dictate whether a baby with a disability will, or will not be, welcomed into this world.
As Good Housekeeping suggests, “two-thirds of pregnancies undergo prenatal testing as early as 11 weeks,” so women have more of a choice as to whether they will end the pregnancy. It further adds, in the specific case of disabilities, “most choose to terminate.”
It also acknowledges that from 1995 to 2011, “roughly 67 to 85 percent of pregnancies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome were aborted.”
“As a result, elective pregnancy terminations have meant 30 percent fewer babies were born with Down syndrome in the U.S.,” according to a 2015 study.
Yet life expectancy of people with Down Syndrome has increased — quite dramatically — from 1960 when, on average, they would live to be only about 10 years old.
By 2007, persons with Down syndrome lived (on average) to be about 47 years old.
Yet, Pratt, who has a history of siding with the abortion lobby, insists this law violates a woman’s right to free choice, and many others agree with her.
“Every person deserves the right to make their own personal decisions about abortion. There is no medical basis for these restrictions,” said Christie Gillespie, President and CEO of PPINK.
Pro-lifers strongly disagree.
“We are deeply disappointed that Planned Parenthood can discriminate against unborn children and target them for abortion,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life and one of the many voices against Pratt’s decision.
“It’s a shame that Planned Parenthood cares more about their bottom line than recognizing the worth of children with Down syndrome,” he said.
“We urge Attorney General Curtis Hill to appeal.”
It is not clear yet if the state will, in fact, appeal Pratt’s ruling. (For more from the author of “Obama Judge Strikes Down Bill That Protects Babies With Down Syndrome” please click HERE)