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Arguments begin in lawsuit over Indiana pro-life law

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Court hearings began Tuesday over Indiana’s law banning abortions sought for genetic abnormalities, race, or sex, among other pro-life reforms, in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The law takes effect in July. It also requires ultrasounds before abortions, admitting privileges for abortionists, and burial or cremation for aborted children. So far, Indiana and North Dakota are the only two states that ban abortions for genetic abnormalities.

The ACLU is arguing that the law amounts to a violation of the “right” to elective abortion created by Roe v. Wade, and US District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt indicated that she agreed, asking, “How can it be described as anything but a prohibition on the right to an abortion?”

But following Roe, the Supreme Court actually upheld a wide variety of restrictions on abortion, including parental notification, regulations on the procedure, limits on taxpayer funding of abortion, waiting periods, and informed consent.

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State Solicitor General Thomas Fisher responded to Pratt by noting that history, particularly Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s affirmation that the state can regulate abortion both in the interest of fetal life and maternal health, though he “acknowledge that in many respects this case is the first of its kind.”

Pratt said she will rule on the case “very soon,” prior to the law taking effect next month.

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