ACLU Files Lawsuit to Overturn New Indiana Law Banning Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 2, 2016   |   9:48AM   |   Indianapolis, IN

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood are trying to stop a new Indiana law that protects unborn babies from discrimination from ever going into effect.

The new law, signed by Gov. Mike Pence in March, bans abortion doctors from knowingly aborting an unborn baby solely because of a genetic disability such as Down syndrome, the unborn baby’s race or sex. The bill also has several other abortion-related measures, including a requirement that aborted or miscarried babies’ bodies be cremated or buried and another requirement that abortionists who have hospital admitting privileges renew them annually.

The abortion business failed to convince the general public to oppose the regulations, so now it hopes to convince a court. Indiana ACLU Executive Director Jane Henegar told Wish TV 8 that the new law is unconstitutional because it makes it more difficult for women to have abortions. Her pro-abortion legal group filed the lawsuit in April on behalf of Planned Parenthood.

“Because repeatedly the U.S. Supreme Court has said that a woman may get an abortion within the first trimester for whatever reasons she deems best, based on her circumstances,” Henegar said. “That conversation isn’t going on now.”

The Indiana law is scheduled to take effect on July 1, but the ACLU is asking a judge to temporarily block the law until a court hears their case, according to the report.

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In April, Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, told LifeNews he was not surprised by the lawsuit.

“This is the same song and dance we have seen from the abortion provider anytime they feel their lucrative abortion business is threatened,” Fichter said. “They look to the courts and activist judges to rule in their favor. Planned Parenthood boasts $2 million a year in abortion revenue in Indiana alone. They oppose any common sense law that protects women and children because they want to protect their bottom line.”

According to the Indy Star:

Planned Parenthood also takes issue with the part of the law mandating that abortion providers cremate or bury fetal remains. The same costly requirement doesn’t exist for disposing of other medical materials, the lawsuit said.

The legal move was highly anticipated, given the heated debate over whether the abortion law could withstand a court challenge. The lawsuit asks the court to declare the abortion law unconstitutional and issue an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Planned Parenthood affiliate. The lawsuit was also brought by Dr. Marshall Levine, a doctor contracted by Planned Parenthood to perform abortions, and Shauna Sidhom, a nurse practitioner who works for Planned Parenthood.

Under the new law, medical professionals such as Levine and Sidhom could be prosecuted, face civil lawsuits or lose their licenses for performing abortions sought because of a prenatal diagnosis of disability.

Planned Parenthood doesn’t ask patients why they’re seeking abortions, the lawsuit said, but the new law requires health care providers to report to the state whether fetuses had been diagnosed with disabilities. Because of that, Planned Parenthood argues that doctors and nurses will learn about a diagnosis before an abortion, putting them at risk to be punished.

Fichter said the lawsuit shows how extreme abortion activists really are.

“The Dignity for the Unborn law protects the most vulnerable among – the unborn targeted for abortion because of their gender, race or a potential disability,” Fichter said. “It calls for respectful disposal of aborted human remains. Hoosiers believe all lives have value and Planned Parenthood’s opposition to this law just shows how extreme on abortion they truly are.”

Discrimination against unborn babies is a very real problem. Studies have estimated that anywhere between 30 percent and 98 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted in the U.S. and Europe. A growing list of research also is pointing to abortion as a means to discriminate against unborn babies simply because of their sex. Unborn baby girls especially are being targeted for abortions, researchers discovered.

In 2013, North Dakota became the first state to pass a law similar to Indiana’s that protects unborn babies from abortions because of disabilities. A handful of states also ban abortions based solely on the baby’s sex.