Governor Mike Pence Thursday signed into law a bill banning abortions performed solely because of a fetus’ gender, race or potential disability.
The measure also imposes new guidelines for handling aborted and miscarried fetal remains.
The bill drew criticism from doctors, and even some Republican lawmakers, including a few who’ve sponsored anti-abortion bills in the past.
At issue is controversial language added by the Senate barring abortions performed solely because of a fetus’ characteristics.
Critics argue that provision threatens the health of the mother, could impose unnecessary suffering on a child, and potentially push a woman to lie to her doctor.
When questioned about those concerns, Governor Pence says the bill affirms the value of human life.
"I believe a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable – the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn – and I believe this legislation advances that principle,” he says.
The measure also requires abortive or miscarried fetal remains to be buried or cremated, not disposed of as medical waste.
Indiana Right to Life praised Pence for signing the bill.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky says it’s “outraged and alarmed” by the bill and plans to file a lawsuit to block it.
The law is scheduled to take effect effect July 1.