US Supreme Court Upholds Indiana Fetal Burial Law, Spurns Abortion Measure

Supreme Court
Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Indiana’s Republican-backed requirement that fetal remains be buried or cremated, dealing a setback to abortion provider Planned Parenthood, which had challenged the provision.

The unsigned ruling, with two of the court’s liberals dissenting, said an appeals court was wrong to conclude that the law had a illegitimate purpose.

But the court also turned away the state’s separate attempt to reinstate its Republican-backed ban on abortions performed because of fetal disability or the sex or race of the fetus.

Both provisions, struck down by a lower court, were part of a 2016 law signed by Vice President Mike Pence when he was Indiana’s governor.

The ruling stated that the court has previously said that states have a legitimate interest in the disposal of fetal remains. The court noted that in challenging the law, Planned Parenthood did not allege that the provision implicated the right of women to obtain an abortion.

Liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor both said they disagreed with the court’s decision to reinstate the fetal remains provision.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

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