Indian’s Governor, Mike Pence, signed a controversial bill that specifically prohibits women from getting an abortion even if the fetus is suffering some genetic abnormalities and will be born with a disability.
Indiana, the state with one of the strictest and most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, just made it nearly impossible to abort a fetus, even if the baby would be eventually born with a disability. The new legislation imposes further restrictions on abortion including rather appalling reasons like gender or race, in the state that already has one of the tightest abortion laws in the country, reported WDSU News.
The bill is officially referred to as House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1337. Terming the bill, “a comprehensive pro-life measure that affirms the value of all human life,” Gov. Pence explained his decision.
“HEA 1337 will ensure the dignified final treatment of the unborn and prohibits abortions that are based only on the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability, including Down syndrome. Some of my most precious moments as Governor have been with families of children with disabilities, especially those raising children with Down syndrome.”
This law clearly indicates that even if the medical professionals determine that the baby would develop genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome and won’t be able to live a normal life or would require assistance in the advanced years, the fetus would not be allowed to be terminated. Pence clearly views HEA 1337 as a right to life that has been legally accorded to the differently abled individuals.
“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.”
Through the bill, Gov. Pence further mandated that in the rare case the fetus was allowed to be terminated, the remains would have to be discarded through correct rituals. In other words, the only allowed way to dispose of an aborted fetus would be either burial or cremation. Earlier, aborted fetuses were considered as biological medical waste and treated as such. It is quite apparent that Gov. Pence intends to accord a decent farewell to the unborn, by considering it a valid human life form and treat it as if a human had died and not something that was surgically removed from the woman’s uterus.
However, the pro-life law has multiple caveats, criticized a national group of gynecologists and several female Republican members of the GOP-dominated Indiana Legislature. Many feel the law is far too restrictive and goes too far in instructing women what they can and cannot do, when it comes to their own progeny. Sharing her reservations against the law, Kate Connors, director of communications for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which recently wrote to Pence urging him to defeat the bill, explained their position.
“We know that you’re going to be forcing woman and families to suffer emotionally because they’re going to be force to carry pregnancies that are not viable. We’ve been hoping that the resounding chorus of voices would hit home. It obviously did not.”
Want to make life better for people with disabilities? Focus on resources & rights, not bans on reproductive choice https://t.co/nNZaaIeFUO— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) March 25, 2016
Many others on the other hand are glad Gov. Mike Pence chose to sign the bill into law. Groups like Indiana Right to Life (IRL) have applauded him for forbidding women to discriminate against “the unborn.” Speaking in support of Pence and the law, Mike Fichter, president of IRL, gave a comment.
“By signing the dignity for the unborn bill, Gov. Pence has again signified his commitment to protecting life. We are pleased that our state values life no matter an individual’s potential disability, gender or race.”
According to the law, abortion providers could face wrongful death lawsuits or professional sanctions if an abortion is performed solely on the basis of a genetic condition, reported AOL. But experts fear women seeking an abortion may withhold information or cite other permissible reasons. Opponents of the law also fear women may have to undergo complex procedures during their pregnancy to support the fetus, which would needlessly pose a danger to their health, reported WISTV.
[Photo by John Gress/Getty Images]