Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the ACLU are suing the state of Indiana over its new law that bans abortions sought for genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome, or for undesirable sex or race.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court, also challenges a provision of the law that requires aborted babies to be buried or cremated, a direct response to the practice of abortion clinics contracting with waste management companies that ultimately burn aborted babies with biohazard medical waste.
“The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly stressed that a woman, not the state, is to determine whether or not to obtain an abortion,” ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk said, reports CBS News. “The State of Indiana’s attempt to invade a woman’s privacy and to control her decision in this regard is unprecedented and unconstitutional.”
Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s signature on the bill last month made Indiana only the second state in the nation, following North Dakota, to prohibit abortions for fetal abnormalities. The new law sparked a social media campaign called “Periods for Pence,” which asked women to call Pence’s office to talk about their menstrual periods with him.
According to Pence’s deputy press secretary, Stephanie Hodgin, the governor “has every confidence this law is constitutional.”
“We will work with the Attorney General to defend the law that enhances information expectant mothers receive and enhances protection for the unborn,” Hodgin said.
The Indiana attorney general’s office said challenges to new laws are part of the legislative process.
“It is important to recognize that all laws passed by the elected legislators and signed by the Governor are presumed constitutional until a court determines otherwise, and I would ask that everyone respect this legal process,” a statement from the attorney general’s office said.
Indiana Right to Life observed that Planned Parenthood is a key player in the abortion industry and that the lawsuit reflects the organization’s desire to protect its profit margin.
“This is the same song and dance we have seen from the abortion provider anytime they feel their lucrative abortion business is threatened,” the pro-life group’s president Mike Fichter said in a statement. “They oppose any common sense law that protects women and children because they want to protect their bottom line.”
Planned Parenthood claims in its lawsuit that the new law places “undue burden on women’s right to choose an abortion,” and that it violates women’s privacy since the abortion business does not ask women the reason for seeking an abortion. Regarding the mandate to bury or cremate the aborted baby, Planned Parenthood says such a requirement introduces further costs for medical waste.
The Hillary Clinton campaign denounced Indiana’s new abortion law. This past week, Clinton said unborn children have no constitutional rights.
Maya Harris, senior policy adviser for Clinton’s campaign, said:
Once again, Hoosier women’s reproductive rights are under attack, and people across Indiana are rightfully standing up against this unprecedented assault on women. Republicans signed into law one of the country’s most restrictive bills that puts women’s health and rights at risk. Politicians like Governor Pence should not interfere with personal medical decisions, which should be left to a woman, her family and her faith, in consultation with her doctor or health care provider.
Clinton received Planned Parenthood’s first-ever endorsement in a primary. As the Washington Free Beacon reported, “Clinton received financial support from the organization, collecting more than $20,000 from executives and employees of the national organization and its regional affiliates—20 times more money than the rest of the presidential field combined.”
In return, Clinton’s campaign sent four separate payments to Planned Parenthood as “reimbursements for staff time” for get out the vote efforts against Clinton rival Bernie Sanders.