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Federal Judge to hear challenge to Indiana law banning sex-selection abortions

by | Jun 13, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt

When U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt hears a challenge this week to HEA 1337, Indiana’s new pro-life law, we can expect a lot to come out. The Associated Press’s Rick Callahan did a preview piece that appeared in many newspapers today.

As you would expect, the story strongly favors the challengers–Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Indiana. Only pro-abortion sources, for example, are interviewed and directly quoted and predictions of an “easy” pro-abortion win are rife.

At issue is HEA 1337, signed into law by pro-life Gov. Mike Pence. The law bans abortions based on a prenatal diagnosis of disabilities such as Down syndrome. HEA 1337, a comprehensive measure, also protects unborn babies who would be aborted because of their gender (almost always girls). In addition the law requires that the remains of aborted babies be disposed of in a dignified fashion.

So, according to Callahan’s post, what is the basis of the Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Indiana challenge?

The plaintiffs argue that the law puts an “undue burden on women’s right to choose an abortion” because it bans the procedure in certain circumstances.

So, to be clear, because you can’t abort solely because the baby has Down syndrome or because the baby is a girl, not a boy, this equals an “undue burden on women’s right to choose an abortion”?

I assume they will make this argument with a more-or-less straight face.

But there’s more. According to Callahan

Indiana University law professor Dawn Johnsen said the law would threaten the “frank, comprehensive discussions” women considering abortions need to have with their doctors.

“This law places a terrible chilling effect on those conversations by saying certain aspects of the decision are going to be controlled by the government,” she said, calling that “a terrible specter.”

Pro-life Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

Pro-life Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

For some readers, Ms. Johnsen’s name will have a familiar ring. She was the former legal director for NARAL Pro-Choice America and worked in the administrations of pro-abortion presidents Bill Clinton and Barak Obama.

And the “frank, comprehensive discussions” that will be “chilled” is telling the abortionist you’re killing your unborn baby because she is not a he.

Pro-abortion Hillary Clinton has put her two cents in. Just before the May 3 Indiana presidential primary, Clinton paid the state a visit.

“I will defend a woman’s right to make her own health-care decisions,” Clinton said to a few hundred supporters at a gathering . “I’ll tell ya, I’ll defend Planned Parenthood against these attacks. And I commend the women of this state, young and old, for standing up against this governor and this legislature.”

The Washington Post’s David Weigel noted at the time

She did not mention the details of the legislation, House Bill 1337, which bans abortions for several factors not deemed life-threatening.

Why would she? Anything that offers even the tiniest protection to unborn babies must be opposed by Planned Parenthood’s favorite presidential candidate.

Categories: Legislation