The Slatest

Indiana Governor Signs Into Law Severe, Totally Unenforceable Restrictions on Abortion Rights

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks during a press conference March 31, 2015 at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, Indiana.  

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law Thursday a controversial anti-abortion measure that would severely curtail women’s access to the procedure, notably banning abortions in instances where the fetus has a disability. Indiana becomes only the second state in the country to prohibit access to abortions when there’s a disability, and outlaws abortions because of the gender or race of the fetus. Similar restrictions have been enacted by conservative legislatures elsewhere in the country.

Here’s more on the measure from the Indianapolis Star:


The controversial and potentially unconstitutional measure further restricts abortion in Indiana — already one of the most restrictive states in the nation… [O]pponents have sharply criticized the restrictions, saying they only serve to shame women who are seeking out a legal medical procedure and would have a chilling effect in medical conversations between a woman and her doctor. They’ve also questioned how the new restrictions will be enforced, given a woman won’t be required to divulge her motivation for seeking an abortion.

The law also places a measure of liability on the doctor if he performs an abortion that was carried out because of a disability, such as Down syndrome, or one of the other now-outlawed reasons. The Indiana chapter of Planned Parenthood said it plans to file for a preliminary injunction to stop the restrictions from going into place.