The new majority Supreme Court had its first chance to take on an abortion rights case coming from the states and it compromised on it. The hotly-contested case comes from Indiana.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld a part of Indiana’s 2016 law that places new restrictions on the disposal of fetal remains after an abortion. According to the law, the “remains” of an abortion or miscarriage have to be buried or cremated, just like when a human being dies.
But the Supreme Court said it would not allow another part of the Indiana law, which would have prohibited abortions if the woman wanted to because of a diagnosis or “potential diagnosis” of Down syndrome or “any other disability,” or because of the fetus’s gender or race.
Vice President Mike Pence was the one who signed Indiana’s abortion law when he was the state’s governor and the Supreme Court has been considering whether or not to take on the issue since January.
Tuesday’s decision did not change anything about the landmark cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. But it’s just the beginning of many cases waiting to be heard from states with a majority conservative legislation.
There are beginning signs of tension on the Supreme Court on the issue of abortion, according to the Washington Post.
In reference to the Indiana case, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a 20-page statement linking abortion to the eugenics policies popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries (you know, 100 years ago) and also said that women who chose to have abortions were mothers.
Luckily, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was there to straighten Thomas out.
Ginsburg responded to Thomas by correcting him on his use of the word “mother.”
“A woman who exercises her constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy is not a ‘mother,’ ” Ginsburg wrote.