A federal appeals court has ruled that a ban on “selective abortions” signed into law in 2016 by then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), is unconstitutional.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge affirmed a district court ruling striking down the Pence-era abortion law on Thursday. The law had banned women from having abortions based on the gender, race or disability of the fetus.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that the law imposes an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to get an abortion.
“The non-discrimination provisions clearly violate well-established Supreme Court precedent holding that a woman may terminate her pregnancy prior to viability, and that the State may not prohibit a woman from exercising that right for any reason,” Judge William Bauer wrote.
“The provisions prohibit abortions prior to viability if the abortion is sought for a particular purpose,” Bauer wrote. “These provisions are far greater than a substantial obstacle; they are absolute prohibitions on abortions prior to viability which the Supreme Court has clearly held cannot be imposed by the State.”
“The Supreme Court has been clear: the State may inform a woman’s decision before viability, but it cannot prohibit it,” he added.
North Dakota, Louisiana and Ohio are currently the only states with similar bans.
“Americans United for Life is disappointed by Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William J. Bauer’s ruling that unborn children diagnosed with disabilities in the womb cannot be protected from fatal discrimination,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion litigation group.
“Indiana and now-Vice President Mike Pence were pioneers in their defense of disabled children, and AUL will continue to fight for the day when all humans are welcomed in life and protected in law.”