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Pence Responds to SCOTUS Ruling on Indiana Abortion Law

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

On Monday, the Supreme Court announced it will not be hearing the case about an appellate court’s decision to block an abortion ban in Indiana.

The Indiana abortion law in question would have prohibited abortions sought by mothers solely for the reason of race, sex, or disability of the fetus. Vice President Mike Pence had signed the pro-life legislation into law when he was governor of Indiana, in March 2016. But last year it was blocked from going into effect by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


SCOTUS did, however, agree to uphold the part of the law declaring that abortionists be required to properly bury or cremate fetal remains.

Vice President Pence expressed his views about SCOTUS’ ruling in a pair of tweets Tuesday.

“As Governor of IN I was proud to sign a law that requires remains of aborted babies be treated w/dignity & respect and blocks groups like Planned Parenthood from the horrific practice of selling fetal tissue,” tweeted Pence. “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court was a victory for life!”

Pence also addressed the court’s decision to allow the abortion ban to remain blocked.

“Today, Justice Thomas wrote: SCOTUS has been zealous in the past in barring discrimination based on sex, race, & disability,” Pence wrote in another tweet. “Hopeful someday soon SCOTUS will recognize the same protections for the unborn when they rule on future appeals of pro-life legislation.”

In his decision to block the law last year, Judge William Bauer wrote that the provisions of Indiana’s abortion ban would "clearly violate" what he called "well-established Supreme Court precedent, and are therefore, unconstitutional."


Although Justice Clarence Thomas concurred that the Supreme Court did not need to take up the abortion ban right now, he did say that the court will “soon need to confront” the problem. Thomas also wrote a 20-page diatribe about abortion, comparing the abortion rights movement to eugenics.

"Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th Century eugenic movement," Thomas wrote.

"This law and other laws like it promote a State's compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics," wrote Thomas, later stating that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was "particularly open about the fact that birth control could be used for eugenic purposes."

"Although the Court declines to wade into these issues today, we cannot avoid them forever," wrote Thomas. "Having created the constitutional right to an abortion, this court is duty bound to address its scope. In that regard, it is easy to understand why the District Court and the Seventh Circuit looked to Casey to resolve a question it did not address. Where else could they turn? The Constitution itself is silent on abortion."


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in her dissenting opinion, criticized Thomas for having referred in his opinion to women seeking abortions as “mothers.”

“(A) woman who exercises her constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy is not a ‘mother,’” Ginsburg claimed, saying Thomas showed “more heat than light” in his concurrence.

According to a report by The Washington Times, Thomas responded that Ginsburg’s opinion “makes little sense.”

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