Court Case Challenging Indiana Abortion Ban Begins

Jun 14, 2016

The state's new law stops any abortion performed because of a fetal disability or abnormality.
Credit 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.