The Supreme Court reinstated an Indiana law Monday requiring abortion clinics to cremate or bury fetal remains.
From Daily Caller:
In an apparent compromise, however, the justices declined to review a second provision of the Indiana law that banned abortions on the basis of sex, race, or disability. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said both provisions — which Vice President Mike Pence signed into law during his tenure as governor — were unlawful.
The 7th Circuit said Indiana had not identified a rational basis for its fetal disposal regulations, since fetuses do not qualify as human beings and thus cannot be regulated like persons under law. The Supreme Court summarily reversed that finding, a rarely-used mechanism saved for decisions that are clearly wrong.
“This Court has already acknowledged that a state has a ‘legitimate interest in proper disposal of fetal remains,’” the high court’s unsigned opinion reads. “The 7th Circuit clearly erred in failing to recognize that interest as a permissible basis for Indiana’s disposition law.”
The decision was narrow and left the Court’s “undue burden” test undisturbed, further solidifying the perception of a compromise. In the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling, the justices said that the validity of abortion regulations would turn on whether they imposed an “undue burden” on abortion access. In Monday’s case, Planned Parenthood did not argue that Indiana’s fetal disposal rules impose an undue burden. Rather, Planned Parenthood challenged the provision under a different legal test.