Supreme Court signals more openness to state abortion rules
Published 8:24 am Wednesday, May 29, 2019
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court signaled Tuesday it is more open to state restrictions on abortion, upholding an Indiana law supported by abortion opponents that regulates the disposal of fetal remains.
At the same time, the justices declined to take on an issue closer to the core of abortion rights, rejecting the state’s appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked a ban on abortion based on gender, race or disability.
Both provisions were contained in a law signed by Vice President Mike Pence in 2016 when he was Indiana’s governor.
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The court’s action keeps it out of an election-year review of the Indiana law amid a flurry of new state laws that go the very heart of abortion rights. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey this month signed a law that would ban virtually all abortions, even in cases of incest and rape, and subject doctors who perform them to criminal prosecution. That law has yet to take effect and is being challenged in court.
Other states have passed laws that would outlaw abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, typically around six weeks of gestation.
The high court is expected to hear at least one abortion-related case in its term that begins in October and ends in June 2020. In February, the justices blocked a Louisiana law that regulates abortion clinics, pending a full review.