Supreme Court Strikes Down Part Of Indiana Abortion Law, Upholds Fetal Burial Provision
The Supreme Court avoided handing down a major ruling on abortion Tuesday, instead choosing to delay the issue for a later time. The court responded to an Indiana law that would prevent women from seeking abortions based on the gender, race or disabilities of the fetus. The court upheld a lower court decision to strike down the law but allowed another part of the Indiana law that required the burial or cremation of fetal remains.
The bill, which was signed into law in 2014 by then-governor Mike Pence, was labeled as an attempt to prevent eugenics by stopping women from aborting fetuses that were not up to their specifications. The fetal remains aspect of the bill was a subtle way of increasing the case that abortion was murder by insisting that fetal remains be disposed of in the same way as human bodies, equating an aborted fetus to a dead human.
With the recent rise in anti-abortion laws being passed in several states, the public has turned towards the Supreme Court to see how the justices will respond. While abortion is currently a constitutional right as determined in the landmark Roe V. Wade case, many conservatives hope to overturn that decision now that the court has a solidly conservative majority. While this current decision has put off a decision on abortion until the future, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in an opinion that the question could not be put off for much longer.
While it is unclear as to when the court will finally rule on the constitutionality of the new abortion laws in places such as Georgia, Alabama and Missouri, many scholars believe that the justices will wait until after the 2020 elections in order to better understand the wishes of the country and to avoid starting any political scuffles that may last longer than the administration under which they are begun.