Supreme Court allows Indiana abortion law governing disposal of fetal remains

FAN Editor

Abortionrights activist gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court to protest against the recent abortion laws passed across the country in recent weeks. Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Washington, D.C.

Aurora Samerio | NurPhoto | Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed an appeals court ruling striking down an Indiana abortion law governing the disposal of fetal remains, which was signed by Vice President Mike Pence when he was governor of the state.

The law, among other provisions, barred the incineration of fetal remains alongside surgical byproducts.

The announcement, which comes as conservative states across the country are passing laws in the hopes of prompting the top court to review its abortion precedents, noted that the Indiana law did not implicate the “undue burden” test that has formed the crux of many challenges to restrictive abortion laws. 

The Supreme Court has said that state abortion regulations are permissible as long as they do not unduly burden a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy. 

The court declined to take up a second case involving so-called “discriminatory” abortions.

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down that law, which barred abortions sought because of the fetus’s expected race or disability status. The court’s order on Tuesday will keep the law from being enforced, though the justices did not take a position on the constitutionality of the regulation. 

The announcement was made in an order released on the court’s website.

The top court wrote in the order, which did not have a named author, that its decision regarding the discriminatory abortion law was based on its  “ordinary practice” of waiting to take a case until more than one appeals court decides on a legal question. 

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have let the lower court ruling that blocked the fetal remains law stand. 

This is breaking news. Check back for updates. 

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