Supreme Court upholds Indiana abortion law on fetal remains

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What You Need to Know - Roe V. Wade

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a portion of a contested Indiana abortion law concerning the disposal of fetal remains but declined to debate the wider issue amid a renewed national debate over abortion.

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The court split 7-2 in allowing Indiana to enforce the fetal remains measure that had been blocked by a federal appeals court. The law will require health care facilities to dispose of fetal remains by burial or cremation in the same manner that the facilities dispose of human remains.

The justices said in an unsigned opinion that the case does not involve limits on abortion rights. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

Justices declined to hear arguments over a second provision of the law, already struck down by a lower court, which would have prevented a woman from having an abortion for reasons related to race, gender or disability. Justices noted in their four-page opinion that the decision not to hear arguments “expresses no view on the merits” of the case.

The law in question was signed by Vice President Mike Pence when he was governor of Indiana, The Washington Post reported.

The Supreme Court’s decision came as at least half a dozen states moved to pass restrictive abortion bans aimed at overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Last week, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill banning abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy for all women, except in medical emergencies, without providing an exception for victims of rape or incest. Earlier this month, lawmakers in Alabama passed a similarly stringent anti-abortion law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.