Indiana Just Moved to Ban the Abortion of Fetuses With Down syndrome

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

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.

Read more: Rural Indiana's HIV Hellscape Two Years After Shutting Down Planned Parenthood

"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.

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Jon Levine

Jon Levine is a staff writer at Mic, covering politics and people. He is based in New York and can be reached at JLevine@mic.com.

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