A new Indiana bill would completely ban abortions by recognizing that human life begins at conception.
Nisly’s bill states that “human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm,” and unborn babies’ lives deserve to be protected by same laws that protect born human beings.
According to RTV 6, the legislation changes the legal definition of a human being from “an individual who has been born and is alive” to “having human physical life, regardless of whether the individual has been born.”
Further, the bill attempts to restrict federal officials and courts from blocking the legislation and imposes penalties on them if they do.
“The courts of the United States have no jurisdiction to interfere with Indiana’s interest in protecting human physical life from the moment that human physical life begins,” the bill states. “… federal officials attempting to enforce contrary court orders against Indiana officials enforcing the law shall be subject to arrest by Indiana law enforcement.”
Abortion activists with the local Planned Parenthood affiliate immediately attacked the bill as “immoral” and “unacceptable.”
“It’s clear Rep. Nisly is emboldened by the Trump administration and the spate of anti-abortion attacks across the country and will stop at nothing to strip Hoosiers of their rights and freedom,” spokeswoman Hannah Brass Greer said in a statement. “This bill is not only unacceptable and immoral, it is illegal.”
The legislation does not appear to have much chance of passing. Nisly introduced similar bills over the past three years, but they never have moved out of committee, according to local news reports.
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If it does pass, it certainly would face a legal challenge from the abortion industry.
Such legislation can be controversial even among pro-life advocates because of the unlikelihood of them succeeding in a legal challenge. When states lose these battles, taxpayers often are forced to pay pro-abortion groups’ legal fees for the court cases.
The U.S. Supreme Court prohibits states from banning abortions prior to viability under Roe v. Wade and subsequent cases. As a result, pro-abortion groups have succeeded in overturning similar laws in court. In 2012, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a personhood bill as unconstitutional because it recognized unborn babies as human beings who deserve the right to life.
There is more hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain. Some legal scholars have speculated that the current court would be more likely to consider cases that gradually chip away at Roe v. Wade – such as a dismemberment abortion ban – rather than reverse it completely.