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Court Case Challenging Indiana Abortion Ban Begins

Weiss Paarz

The Indiana Solicitor General says the state’s new abortion law requiring fetal remains to be either cremated or buried is about ensuring respect for life.

The ACLU of Indiana says it’s irrational to treat fetal remains the same as human remains.  

Indiana’s new abortion law says medical facilities, including abortion clinics, must cremate or bury aborted or miscarried fetal remains, not dispose of them as medical waste (as has been the case under state law). 

Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher says the state has an interest in ensuring the dignity of that life. 

But ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk, on behalf of Planned Parenthood, says the law’s treatment of different remains doesn’t make sense.

“The state has no interest in converting this into human life and treating it as a dead body," Falk says.  "As the court noted, what’s the rationale in treating an amputated arm in one way and fetal remains another way?”

State law doesn’t require amputated limbs to be buried or cremated. 

But Fisher says a fetus is, in his words, “an independent, living organism” that can become a person. 

The new law also bans abortions performed solely because of a fetus’ potential disability, sex or race. 

The federal judge says she will issue a ruling before the law takes effect July 1st

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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