Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Genetic discrimination

The Indiana branch of Planned Parenthood won a victory over disabled children this week; the abortion giant recently brought a suit against HEA 1337, a law designed to protect babies with disabilities.

The lawsuit challenged HEA 1337, which prevents abortions for gender selection or because of a disability diagnosis. Up until this ruling, babies with down syndrome and other disabilities were protected by Indiana law, but these protections were stripped away by an Obama-era judge.

In 2016, then-Governor Mike Pence signed HEA 1337 into law; the rule was designed to protect those babies that would be born with a disability or that were simply not the gender the parents wanted.

In addition to the prevention of abortion for these frivolous reasons, the law also had requirements for dignified burials for the remains of aborted babies. The burial provision prevented Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from throwing the babies out like trash or selling the human remains for profit.

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt of the U.S. District Court issued a permanent injunction last week, preventing enforcement of the state’s protective “Sex Selection and Disability Abortion Ban”. In a 22-page decision, the judge asserts that the law violates the 14th amendment.

As part of the lengthy treatise, Judge Pratt defended both disability-based and sex selection abortions stating, “it is a woman’s right to choose an abortion that is protected, which, of course, leaves no room for the State to examine, let alone prohibit, the basis or bases upon which a woman makes her choice.”

She went on to write that an abortion for any reason or motivation is the mother’s right; gender, race, potential hair color, disability status and other motivations are all acceptable reasons for abortion under the judge’s ruling. The ruling makes permanent a temporary injunction on the behalf of Planned Parenthood and will impact unborn children throughout the state.

Judge Pratt had already granted a preliminary injunction against the protective law last June. Planned Parenthood sought the injunction immediately after HEA 1337 was signed by Pence. The initial request was that the judge find the law unconstitutional and that it violated privacy rights. The latest decision makes the injunction permanent and strips the unborn children of Indiana of the protections afforded to them by HEA 1337. 

Since prenatal testing can determine gender, disabilities like down syndrome and other details, this injunction could actually increase the number of lives lost, as parents have more data than ever before on their unborn offspring.

Curtis Hill, the Attorney General of Indiana, has stated his intention to appeal the freshly approved permanent injunction since Judge Pratt’s decision makes “genetic discrimination” an option for those expecting babies in the state.

“By declaring unconstitutional a state law that would bar abortions based solely on race, sex or disability such as Down syndrome, a federal judge has cleared the path for genetic discrimination that once seemed like science fiction,” said Hill, speaking to the state’s Indy Star newspaper.

“This state has a compelling interest in protecting the dignity of the unborn and in ensuring they are not selected for termination simply because they lack preferred physical characteristics,” Hill continued.

Hill also stated that the requirement that abortion purveyors provide a dignified burial for the babies killed at their facilities is not infringing on anyone’s rights.
Indiana Right to Life, a pro-life group, agreed with the Attorney General that the judge’s ruling discriminates against those with disabilities and could have long reaching implications.

“It’s a shame that Planned Parenthood cares more about their bottom line than recognizing the worth of children with Down syndrome,” said Mike Fichter, of the pro-life group “No one should be targeted for abortion solely because of their sex, race, national origin or a potential disability like Down syndrome.”

After this controversial ruling, North Dakota stands alone as the only state that does not allow abortion based on a disabilities diagnosis. However, There is still hope for children with conditions like down syndrome in Ohio; the protective “Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act” is already going through the legislative process in that state.

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