Supreme Court Declines to Uphold Most of Indiana’s Abortion Ban

In the first ruling on abortion since Brett Kavanaugh joined the bench, the Supreme Court blocked an Indiana law that barred abortions based on fetal characteristics like disability or sex.

Vice President Mike Pence signed the measure into law in 2016 as then-governor of Indiana, but it was blocked by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago last year.

On May 28, in the case of Box v. Planned Parenthood, the Supreme Court handed down a three-page unsigned opinion. In regard to the first part of the Indiana law in question, the justices simply announced that they would not review the 7th Circuit Court’s decision that overturned the state’s ban on selective abortions.

In the Chicago three-judge decision, Judge William Joseph Bauer wrote that the law violates “well-established Supreme Court precedent holding that a woman may terminate her pregnancy prior to viability, and that the State may not prohibit a woman from exercising that right for any reason.”

With respect to the second part, the Supreme Court allowed a minor provision of the Indiana law to take effect; it requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated to prevent “incineration of fetal remains along with surgical byproducts.”

The case was of special interest since Justice Anthony Kennedy had generally supported abortion rights, while Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s record has shown more skepticism toward a woman’s right to choose.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor wanted to block both provisions of the law.

Meanwhile, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion covering 20 pages and claiming that the “use of abortion to achieve eugenic goals is not merely hypothetical.”

According to The New York Times:

In declining to hear an appeal from that part of the decision, the Supreme Court said it was expressing no views on the constitutionality of the provision on forbidden reasons for seeking abortions. Other appeals courts had not considered the question, the Supreme Court’s unsigned opinion said, and a split among lower courts is ordinarily required for Supreme Court review.

So the Supreme Court has sidestepped the issue of Roe v. Wade for now, but what does that mean for the future of the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion across the nation?

The May 28 opinion is encouraging, but it’s far too soon to predict what the next decision may be. After all, plenty of states — like Georgia, Alabama and Missouri — have approved laws intended to directly challenge that 1973 ruling.

We can look no further than Missouri to understand what’s happening.

On May 31, Missouri will probably become the first U.S. state to have no abortion facilities since the Roe v. Wade decision. 

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Bonyen Lee-Gilmore explained that Missouri’s license to provide abortions expires on May 31. “If the state refuses to renew the license by Friday, abortion services will cease at the last health center that provides abortion,” she stated.

Take Action!

With these attacks on bodily autonomy, we must fight back. 

Signing this Care2 petition is a declaration that every person should have the right to make their own choice. Keeping abortion safe and legal is an affirmation of equal rights. 

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo Credit: Lorie Shaull/Flickr

52 comments

Joan E
Joan E9 hours ago

Excellent.

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Leo C
Leo Custer5 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Caitlin L
Caitlin L12 days ago

signed

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Leo C
Leo Custer14 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan H15 days ago

good news

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Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe17 days ago

Petition signed and shared.

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Lorraine Andersen

thanks for sharing

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I've just signed the petition.

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Leo Custer
Leo Custer19 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Olivia H
Olivia H19 days ago

signed

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