Supreme Court reinstates law requiring burial or cremation of fetal remains

Ruling on Indiana law was court’s biggest move on abortion since Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed last year; only justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor disagreed

A view of the U.S. Supreme Court building is seen in Washington, DC, U.S., October 13, 2015. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo)

The U.S. Supreme Court’s strengthened conservative majority made its first move toward giving states more power to regulate abortion, as the justices upheld an Indiana law requiring clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains.

The justices ruled Tuesday that a federal appeals court was wrong to strike down the measure as unconstitutional. Only two justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor — indicated publicly that they disagreed with the ruling. The court ruled without hearing arguments in the case.

The three-page opinion, issued by the court as a whole, said the state has a legitimate interest in ensuring the proper disposal of fetal remains. The court said opponents never argued that the measure put an unconstitutional “undue burden” on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.

“This case, as litigated, therefore does not implicate our cases applying the undue burden test to abortion regulations,” the court said.

In a dissenting opinion, Ginsburg said the case “implicates the right of a woman to choose to have an abortion before viability and to obtain it without undue interference from the state.”

The Supreme Court also said it won’t hear Indiana’s effort to revive a separate provision that would bar abortions based on the fetus’s race or gender or the risk of a genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome.

Indiana argued that its law on disposal of fetal remains is consistent with the Supreme Court’s 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, which upheld the fundamental right to abortion but said states have an interest in protecting fetal life after viability.

The measure applies only to abortion clinics and doesn’t bar a woman from disposing of the tissue herself. The law lets clinics cremate or bury fetuses from multiple abortions together.

Full story at Bloomberg News.

Comments

  1. St. Christopher says

    Not sure that this case shows much, perhaps, but uncertain. What is clear, however, is that all Catholics need to pray for Justice Ginsburg. No, Justice Ginsburg, requiring women to obey traffic laws on their way to kill their babies is not evidence of an “undue burden.” You really must think about what you are fighting for (and how did she get confirmed, anyway?).

    It is unlikely that the Court will ever completely overturn the ridiculous Roe decision, although it could uphold certain State laws making baby murder less easy. Pray for all mothers who do (or consider) this.

  2. James Flynn says

    Everyone MUST read Justice Thomas’s Opinion: It starts off with —–

    “Indiana law prohibits abortion providers from treating the bodies of aborted children as “infectious waste” and incinerating them alongside used needles, laboratory-animal carcasses, and surgical byproducts.”

    And then he gives a marvelous, lengthy explanation of abortion as the eugenics—(scroll down)

    Do you think any California Catholic bishop will even mention this at the pulpit????
    https://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/052819zor_2dq3.pdf

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