Indiana moved Thursday to enact a sweeping new anti-abortion law that, if implemented, will outlaw termination of a fetus with genetic disorders like Down syndrome.
The bill, passed by the Republican-dominated state legislature two weeks ago, was signed by Republican Gov. Mike Pence within hours of the deadline to act.
"I believe that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable — the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn," Pence said in a statement.
HB 1337 also prevents race- and gender-based procedures and stipulates that fetal tissue that is aborted by buried or cremated.
The news has drawn arguments from both sides of the abortion debate with anti-abortion groups hailing the law and pro-choicers vowing to fight.
"It is clear that the governor is more comfortable practicing medicine without a license than behaving as a responsible lawyer, as he picks and chooses which constitutional rights are appropriate," Betty Cockrum, the head of Planned Parenthood for Indiana and Kentucky, which is expected to challenge the measure in court, told the Associated Press.
For now, the bill is set to take effect in July.