Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) signed a bill into law that prohibits abortions because the unborn baby has been diagnosed with a disability such as Down syndrome, or is of a sex or race that is undesirable.
In addition, the measure requires that aborted or miscarried babies be interred or cremated, an issue that challenges the practice of abortion clinics contracting with waste management companies that ultimately burn aborted babies with bio-hazard medical waste.
As Breitbart News reported last August, Pence ordered an investigation that ultimately revealed Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in his state are sending aborted babies to be burned with other bio-hazard medical waste.
House Enrolled Act 1337 makes Indiana only the second state to ban abortions because of a diagnosis of a disability. North Dakota also passed a law prohibiting abortions for genetic abnormalities in 2013.
According to KVUE, Pence described the new law as a “comprehensive pro-life measure that affirms the value of all human life.”
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, praised Pence for signing the legislation:
I came to know Governor Pence personally when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he proved himself to be a strong defender of the most vulnerable among us, the unborn. He has continued that stellar example in his term as governor of Indiana. He, and the Indiana legislature, have honored justice and served the public by establishing these protections.
“If already-born people are killed because of their race, sex, or disability, we call them victims of hate crimes,” Pavone added. “This law is just a logical extension of civil rights measures that protect us against discrimination.”
Regarding the part of the new law requiring interment or cremation for miscarried and aborted babies, Pavone said, “Such children deserve the same respect as any of us. No one should be buried with litter in a landfill.”
However, John Gregg – Democrat candidate for governor – said Pence’s action on the legislation was divisive.
“It’s time to bring back Mitch Daniels’ truce on social issues so we can move Indiana forward again,” Gregg said, according to IndyStar. “Like so many other polices put forth by Mike Pence and the Republican legislature, this does nothing but further damage our state’s reputation and divide our people.”
Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted his objection to the new law:
The decision to have an abortion is for a woman to make, not the Governor of Indiana. https://t.co/1VOroXS2br
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 24, 2016
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky used fear of the Zika virus to protest Pence’s signature on the measure.
“Now Indiana’s Legislature has passed a bill that forces women to give birth if a doctor has detected a fetal abnormality,” the group said. “Which, yes, would mean that a pregnant woman who contracts Zika would lose her right to abortion, while a woman with a healthy pregnancy would retain her right to say no to giving birth.”
The Planned Parenthood affiliate in Indiana said it will work with the ACLU to ask the court to halt the law prior to July when it takes effect.
Indiana Right to Life, nevertheless, praised Pence for his action on the bill.
“Gov. Pence has long been a champion for the unborn and their mothers,” said Mike Fichter, president and CEO of the pro-life group. “By signing the dignity for the unborn bill, Gov. Pence has again signified his commitment to protecting life. We are pleased that our state values life no matter an individual’s potential disability, gender or race.”