Indiana abortion: Mike Pence 'commends' Supreme Court for upholding foetal burial law

He's now encouraging the court to review state laws restricting when and why people can get abortions

Lily Puckett
New York
Tuesday 28 May 2019 20:55
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Vice President Mike Pence has commended the Supreme Court for upholding a part of an Indiana law requiring the burial of foetal remains after abortions.

Now he's encouraging the court to review state laws that restrict when and why an abortion can be performed, and says he hopes that "legal protections against discrimination based on sex, race, or disability will someday be extended to unborn Americans."

Mr Pence signed the burial measure into law in 2016, when he was governor of Indiana.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld a requirement that foetal remains must be buried or cremated after abortion.

But it blocked an Indiana law barring abortions based on a foetus' sex, race or disability, prompting Mr Pence to cite Justice Clarence Thomas's position on the ruling in his hopes that Supreme Court will return to the decision.

Justice Thomas joined the court in declining to review Indiana's law, but issued a 20-page statement in line with the vice president's, in which he agreed that the ruling is constitutional but condemned its practical application.

He accused those who use abortion procedures, as well as birth control, of practising "eugenics."

"Given the potential for abortion to become a tool of eugenic manipulation, the Court will soon need to confront the constitutionality of laws like Indiana’s," he wrote. "But because further percolation may assist our review of this issue of first impression, I join the Court in declining to take up the issue now."

The Indiana law first came to the Supreme Court's docket in January, and the early summer decision marks a lengthy period of internal strife over it. Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said they would have declined to take up both aspects of the law, including the burials.

Abortions rights advocates have condemned the burial law.

“Today the court let another unwarranted restriction on abortion stand. While this ruling is limited, the law is part of a larger trend of state laws designed to stigmatize and drive abortion care out of reach," Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement.

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