Indiana abortion advocates are calling on Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill to back off from a state abortion law that would place limits on abortions in certain circumstances.
Calls for Hill to end his defense of the state’s abortion laws come in reaction to his Monday request for the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a block on a 2016 law passed by then-Gov. Mike Pence. The law requires abortion clinics and facilities that provide abortions to bury or cremate aborted babies rather than dispose of them as medical waste.
“Nothing in the Constitution prohibits states from requiring health facilities to provide an element of basic human dignity in disposing of fetuses,” Hill said in a statement, The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.
“It’s disappointing that the state of Indiana continues to defend these unconstitutional and medically unnecessary abortion restrictions,” Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky President Christie Gillespie said in a statement, according to the Tribune.
“By appealing to the Supreme Court, the state of Indiana is trying to not only chip away at Hoosiers’ rights, but also threaten the rights of people seeking safe and legal abortion care across the country,” she added.
“Roe is settled law. It is precedent. Stop chipping away at Roe,” National Organization for Women’s Northwest Indiana chapter President Julie Storbeck said. She noted that she wasn’t surprised at Hill’s request following the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, calling the timing “perfect,” according to the Tribune.
“The whole point of Roe is you don’t have to explain anything,” Storbeck added. “These are very personal and private decisions, and the government needs to stay out.”
Hill also asked the court to review a portion of the law that makes it illegal for doctors to perform abortions “based solely on the race, sex or disability of the child,” the Tribune reported.
“The right to abortion declared by our Supreme Court protects only the decision not to bear a child at all, not a right to decide which child to bear,” Hill said.
Four women accused Hill in a confidential memo of inappropriately groping them in mid-March. Hill has vehemently denied all allegations.
Pro-lifers have become “louder” and “emboldened” since the appointment of Kavanaugh, Merrillville Planned Parenthood organizer Betsy Hunt told the Tribune.
Others strongly support the blocked law and applaud Hill’s request that the ruling be reversed.
Unborn babies should have “the dignity of burial or cremation,” Porter County pro-life group President Al Raffin told the Tribune.
“When we consider aborting basically for the reason of race, sex or a disability, that’s kind of Hitler-esque, if you’re asking me,” Lake County pro-life group President Len Reynolds also said, according to the Tribune.
Hill’s request comes after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on July 25 that Indiana’s law requiring women to get an ultrasound at least 18 hours before they have an abortion places an “undue burden” on women and insults a woman’s intellect, according to The Indianapolis Star.
Hill’s request also follows a June lawsuit against the state of Indiana — filed by Whole Women’s Health Alliance, All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center and Dr. Jeffrey Glazer — seeking to strike down its restrictions on abortion.
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