Indiana Will Appeal Ruling Overturning Ban on Abortions of Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 27, 2017   |   9:33AM   |   Indianapolis, IN

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill will fight to protect a state law banning discriminatory abortions based on an unborn baby’s sex, race or genetic disorder.

Hill made the announcement Monday after a federal judge struck down the law last week, according to the Daily Caller.

“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 in a statement to IndyStar.

The law made Indiana the second state in the nation to ban abortions on babies with Down syndrome and other genetic disorders. Then-Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill in 2016 to protect unborn babies from being aborted simply because of a disability, race or sex.

House Bill 1337 would ban 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 burial/cremation requirement backs up a law passed in 2015 requiring that aborted babies’ bodies be disposed of in a humane way.

The Planned Parenthood abortion chain challenged the law before it went into effect.

RTV 6 reports Judge Tonya Walton Pratt, an Obama appointee, permanently blocked the law in a ruling Friday, claiming the law is unconstitutional. Last summer, she temporarily halted the law at the request of the Planned Parenthood abortion chain.

Pratt has a history of siding with the abortion lobby. She previously blocked provisions of a 2011 Indiana law that denied taxpayer funds to abortion businesses and required that pregnant women be told about an unborn child’s ability to feel pain.

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In an email to LifeNews, Mike Fichter of Indiana Right to Life said he was disappointed by Pratt’s ruling.

“We are deeply disappointed that Planned Parenthood can discriminate against unborn children and target them for abortion,” Fichter said. “Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and Obama-appointed Judge Pratt do not represent the majority of Hoosiers. Our state took a proactive step in protecting the civil rights of unborn children by passing the Dignity for the Unborn Act in 2016.

“It’s a shame that Planned Parenthood cares more about their bottom line than recognizing the worth of children with Down syndrome. No one should be targeted for abortion solely because of their sex, race, national origin or a potential disability like Down syndrome,” he continued.

Indiana state Sen. Liz Brown, who worked on the legislation, previously said many families face pressure to abort from doctors or other health care professionals when their unborn babies are diagnosed with a disability. LifeNews has documented numerous cases of families saying the same thing.

“What we hear from doctors is — it would really be better off if you were not born,” Brown said. “If you are born, we will love you, and we think you have equal rights and should be a member of society. In fact, we have the Americans with Disabilities Act and have to make accommodations. But we don’t want to make the accommodation before you’re born, and in fact, it would really be easier if you were not born.”

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