Denial to Hear Indiana’s Unborn Civil Rights Law is Disappointing, but Court May Hear Issue in the Future

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an order reversing the judgment of the Seventh Circuit regarding the disposition of fetal remains by abortion providers and establishing a victory for the pro-life movement. Unfortunately, it also denied hearing a second Indiana provision, the portion of the 2016 Dignity for the Unborn Law that prohibits abortions because of the child’s sex, race, national origin or a potential disability, like Down syndrome.

“The Supreme Court gave the pro-life movement a major victory by upholding Indiana’s fetal remains law,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “The court sided with Indiana that unborn human remains must receive dignified disposal. Humane disposal takes us one step closer to recognizing the dignity of unborn children. Aborted children may no longer be treated as medical waste or garbage. Instead, these precious lives will be required by law to receive a burial or cremation.

“We are deeply disappointed the Supreme Court denied certiorari of the civil rights portion of the Dignity Law. Indiana was on the cutting edge of extending civil rights protections to the unborn. Justice Clarence Thomas made clear in his remarks that the issue of civil rights protections for the unborn must be addressed by the Supreme Court. He called out Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, for using abortions to further eugenics. We are hopeful one day the Supreme Court will recognize the civil rights of the unborn.

“Here we now have a troubling dichotomy that cannot stand: on one hand we recognize aborted children have dignity and are not garbage, on the other hand the court refuses the inherent, God-given dignity of each unborn child by recognizing their civil rights. This once again places Roe on a collision course with itself. Rest assured, Indiana will continue leading the charge in the effort to protect life.”

A provision of the Dignity for the Unborn Law regarding ultrasounds was appealed separately to the Supreme Court. The Court has not given any indication on how it will rule on that case.

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.