Indiana Law Banning Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome Goes Into Effect

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 19, 2022   |   5:15PM   |   Indianapolis, Indiana

Indiana may protect unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities from abortions after a federal judge threw out an order Monday blocking the state from enforcing the anti-discrimination law.

Pro-life laws are going into effect across the country after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24. On Monday, the AP reports U.S. District Judge Tonya Walton Pratt ended a six-year-old injunction against the pro-life law at the request of Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita.

Former Gov. Mike Pence signed the law (House Bill 1337) in 2016 to ban abortionists from knowingly aborting an unborn baby solely because of a genetic disability such as Down syndrome, the unborn baby’s race or sex.

However, the American Civil Liberties Union sued, and Pratt blocked the law. Her ruling this week means the law may go into effect for the first time.


Indiana Right to Life celebrated the news in an email Tuesday.

“A 2016 Indiana law banning discrimination abortions is now in full effect as a result of a federal injunction being lifted late yesterday,” the pro-life organization wrote. “Significantly, the law’s anti-discrimination elements are rooted in Indiana’s civil rights laws found in Indiana Code 22-9-5. Indiana is thought to be the first state applying such civil rights protections to unborn children.”

Research indicates that unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities are targeted for abortions at astronomical rates. The abortion rate for unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome is nearly 100 percent in Iceland, according to CBS News. Estimates put the rate at 77 percent in France and 67 percent in the United States, though some estimate it may be as high as 90 percent.

Nine states also prohibit sex-selection abortions, which often target unborn baby girls.

Indiana lawmakers plan to consider more legislation to protect unborn babies during a special legislative session this week. Pro-life lawmakers asked Gov. Eric Holcomb for the special session in response to the Supreme Court ruling.

There were 7,756 abortions in Indiana in 2020, according to state health statistics.

Since Roe in 1973, more than 63 million unborn babies have been killed in abortions in the United States. The infamous ruling forced states to legalize abortions for any reason up to viability and allowed abortions for any reason up to birth.

In the historic Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ruling on June 24, the Supreme Court justices overturned Roe and allowed states to protect unborn babies from abortion again. Thirteen already have done so, although some have been blocked by court orders, and more state are expected to enact pro-life laws in the coming weeks.

The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates more than 120,000 unborn babies are being saved from abortion as a result of the pro-life laws currently in place.