Attorneys general from 19 states filed a friend of the court brief this month asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold an Indiana law protecting babies from abortions based on race, sex, or potential disability.
In April, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Indiana law, which also required the dignified disposal of aborted babies’ bodies. Indiana appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court last month.
“The States have the solemn duty and sovereign right to protect the dignity of all human beings within their borders,” the brief said. It called the 7th Circuit’s decision “an unprecedented, unlawful hostility to the States’ authority to honor human life and dignity.”
The pro-life Thomas More Society legal group also filed an amicus brief, saying that abortions in the United States are rife with racism, sex-selective practices, and discrimination against people with disabilities.
Sarah Pitlyk, an attorney with the organization, called the Indiana law “a reasonable legislative response to odious social practices,” adding, “No humane civilization can support racism, sexism, or eugenics by any method, and it’s hard to imagine how anyone could object to the respectful treatment of human remains.”
The states behind the brief are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. —Samantha Gobba
Mississippi: U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves ruled last week against Mississippi’s law that protected unborn babies from abortion after 15 weeks of gestation. He pointed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s strong precedent of allowing states to protect the unborn only after they can survive outside the womb. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said he will appeal the ruling.
Louisiana: A law similar to Mississippi’s remains on hold in Louisiana, pending the outcome in Mississippi’s court battle.
Ohio: The state House of Representatives is considering a bill that would protect all unborn children from abortion. Under House Bill 565, abortionists as well as women who abort their babies could face murder charges. On Nov. 15, the House passed the so-called “heartbeat bill,” which would protect babies as early as six weeks of gestation if they had a detectable heartbeat. Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who considers himself pro-life, said he won’t sign the law because it won’t stand up to a court challenge.
New Mexico: Democrats are seeking to repeal the state’s law protecting children from abortions except in cases of rape, birth defects, or serious threat to the mother’s health. The law is not in effect, but pro-abortion legislators worry it could be if the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision granting women the right to abortion until the baby could live outside the womb. —S.G.