[JURIST] The Indiana Senate [official website] on Wednesday released a bill [HB 1337] from committee that would ban abortions based on genetic disabilities and would also require aborted or miscarried fetuses to be cremated or interred. The Senate Health and Provider Services Committee [official website] voted 6-3 for the bill, which will now head to the Senate floor. The bill addresses situations when a woman seeks an abortion based on genetic disabilities associated with the unborn child. The new would will make it a criminal act for a physician to perform an abortion if they know the sole reasoning is based on genetic disabilities. The bill as been viewed [Indianapolis Star report] by opponents as another limit on the ability of women to seek an abortion in the state of Indiana.
Abortion and reproductive rights issues [JURIST backgrounder] have been heated topics throughout the US. Also Wednesday the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that Louisiana may enforce an abortion law [JURIST report] from 2014 which critics say will result in the closing of most of the state’s abortion clinics. Earlier this month the Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed [JURIST report] a lower court decision upholding a law that restricts use of medication abortion drugs. Also in February Ohio’s governor signed [JURIST report] a bill that would purportedly cut state-funds to Planned Parenthood by $1.3 million. In November the US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [JURIST report] to decide whether a Texas law, which requires that clinics have similar facilities to surgical center, posed an undue burden on the availability of abortion on the state. Oral arguments in the case will be heard next week.