Supreme Court upholds Indiana law on fetal burials, won’t review lower court ruling halting law banning abortions for the purpose of sex, race or disability selection.
The Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law that required a burial or cremation of an aborted human being, but decided to provide an unsigned opinion on the portion of the law that bans abortion based on sex, race, and disability. Vice President Mike Pence signed the bill into law in 2016 when he served as governor of Indiana.
Justice Clarence Thomas issued an opinion in support of the Indiana law on abortion restrictions due to eugenics using abortion as a form of eugenics on minorities.
The Supreme Court wrote that the defendants did not argue “that Indiana’s law creates an undue burden on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion” when it came to requiring a burial or cremation for the unborn human being.
The Supreme Court has used the “undue burden” of access to an abortion as a standard since its decision on Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, which allows “states to regulate abortion to a certain extent.”
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas supported the law: “I would have thought it could go without saying that nothing in the Constitution or any decision of this Court prevents a State from requiring abortion facilities to provide for the respectful treatment of human remains.”
Activists for abortion claimed the burials or cremations would “make abortions more expensive.” The pro-life crowd pushed for officials to stop treating aborted unborn human beings as medical waste.
Abortion Based on Sex, Race, and Disability
This portion boiled my blood because it seems like common sense, but once again, the Supreme Court punted on a decision that would save a human being from murder based on discrimination. From The Wall Street Journal:
The court’s unsigned opinion appeared the product of a delicate compromise, and it stressed the justices weren’t ready—for now—to consider whether either law violates the Constitution. Instead, the three-page opinion offered procedural reasons for the different, if perhaps temporary, outcomes in both cases.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago, had found both Indiana provisions violate Supreme Court precedents prohibiting regulations that place an undue burden on women’s rights to end pregnancies.
Tuesday’s opinion said the justices would prefer that additional lower courts weigh in on the selective-abortion issue before addressing it themselves, and that the challenge to the fetal-remains law had not properly been framed under abortion-rights precedents.
Disgusting. I guess discrimination is only bad once a human being is born.
I’m not the only one upset about this unsigned opinion. Thomas released a scathing 20-page that reminded people how allowing people can use abortion as a form of eugenics. You know, what Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger’s original goal, which Thomas noted in his opinion (emphasis mine):
Like many elites of her day, Sanger accepted that eugenics was “the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.” Sanger, The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda, Birth Control Rev., Oct. 1921, p. 5 (Propaganda). She agreed with eugenicists that “the unbalance between the birth rate of the ‘unfit’ and the ‘fit’” was “the greatest present menace to civilization.” Ibid. Particularly “in a democracy like that of the United States,” where “[e]quality of political power has . . . been bestowed upon the lowest elements of our population,” Sanger worried that “reckless spawning carries with it the seeds of destruction.” Pivot of Civilization 177–178.
Although Sanger believed that society was “indebted” to “the Eugenists” for diagnosing these problems, she did not believe that they had “show[n] much power in suggesting practical and feasible remedies.” Id., at 178. “As an advocate of Birth Control,” Sanger attempted to fill the gap by showing that birth control had “eugenic and civilizational value.” Propaganda 5. In her view, birth-control advocates and eugenicists were “seeking a single end”—“to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.” Racial Betterment 11. But Sanger believed that the focus should be “upon stopping not only the reproduction of the unfit but upon stopping all reproduction when there is not economic means of providing proper care for those who are born in health.” Ibid. (emphasis added). Thus, for Sanger, forced sterilization did “not go to the bottom of the matter” because it did not “touc[h] the great problem of unlimited reproduction” of “those great masses, who through economic pressure populate the slums and there produce in their helplessness other helpless, diseased and incompetent masses, who overwhelm all that eugenics can do among those whose economic condition is better.” Id., at 12. In Sanger’s view, frequent reproduction among “the majority of wage workers” would lead to “the contributing of morons, feeble-minded, insane and various criminal types to the already tremendous social burden constituted by these unfit.” Ibid.
While Sanger carefully crafted her words to stray away from abortion and eugenics, others never held back (emphasis mine):
Others were well aware that abortion could be used as a “metho[d] of eugenics,” 6 H. Ellis, Studies in the Psychology of Sex 617 (1910), and they were enthusiastic about that possibility. Indeed, some eugenicists believed that abortion should be legal for the very purpose of promoting eugenics. See Harris, Abortion in Soviet Russia: Has the Time Come To Legalize It Elsewhere? 25 Eugenics Rev. 22 (1933) (“[W]e are being increasingly compelled to consider legalized abortion as well as birth control and sterilization as possible means of influencing the fitness and happiness and quality of the race”); Aims and Objects of the Eugenics Society, 26 Eugenics Rev. 135 (1934) (“The Society advocates the provision of legalized facilities for voluntarily terminating pregnancy in cases of persons for whom sterilization is regarded as appropriate”). Support for abortion can therefore be found throughout the literature on eugenics. E.g., Population Control: Dr. Binnie Dunlop’s Address to the Eugenics Society, 25 Eugenics Rev. 251 (1934) (lamenting “the relatively high birth-rate of the poorest third of the population” and “the serious rate of racial deterioration which it implied,” and arguing that “this birth-rate . . . would fall rapidly if artificial abortion were made legal”); Williams, The Legalization of Medical Abortion, 56 Eugenics Rev. 24–25 (1964) (“I need hardly stress the eugenic argument for extending family planning”—including “voluntary sterilization” and “abortion”—to “all groups, not merely to those who are the most intelligent and socially responsible”).
Thomas pointed out that black groups viewed the phrase “‘family planning’ as a euphemism for race genocide.” They also “believed that “black people [were] taking the brunt of the ‘planning'” from Planned Parenthood.
Nowadays, Planned Parenthood has added “reproductive rights” along with “family planning” to defend their abortion mills.
Thomas stressed the countries that still practice eugenics:
In Iceland, the abortion rate for children diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero approaches 100%. See Will, The Down Syndrome Genocide, Washington Post, Mar. 15, 2018, p. A23, col. 1. Other European countries have similarly high rates, and the rate in the United States is approximately two-thirds. See ibid. (98% in Denmark, 90% in the United Kingdom, 77% in France, and 67% in the United States); see also Natoli, Ackerman, McDermott, & Edwards, Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome: A Systematic Review of Termination Rates (1995–2011), 32 Prenatal Diagnosis 142 (2012) (reviewing U. S. studies).
In Asia, widespread sex-selective abortions have led to as many as 160 million “missing” women—more than the entire female population of the United States. See M. Hvistendahl, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men 5–6 (2011); see also Kalantry, How To Fix India’s SexSelection Problem, N. Y. Times, Int’l ed., July 28, 2017, p. 9 (“Over the course of several decades, 300,000 to 700,000 female fetuses were selectively aborted in India each year. Today there are about 50 million more men than women in the country”). And recent evidence suggests that sex selective abortions of girls are common among certain populations in the United States as well. See Almond & Sun, Son-Biased Sex Ratios in 2010 U. S. Census and 2011–2013 U. S. Natality Data, 176 Soc. Sci. & Med. 21 (2017) (concluding that Chinese and AsianIndian families in the United States “show a tendency to sex-select boys”); Almond & Edlund, Son-Biased Sex Ratios in the 2000 United States Census, 105 Proc. Nat. Acad. of Sci. 5681 (2008) (similar).
Like I said before, the Supreme Court (and others) use the “undue burden” based on Casey to make judgments on abortion cases. The District Court and the Seventh Court used Casey to rule against Indiana’s law.
Judge Frank Eastbrook of the Seventh Court dissented because “’Casey did not consider the validity of an anti-eugenics law’ and that judicial opinions, unlike statutes, ‘resolve only the situations presented for decision.'”
Whatever else might be said about Casey, it did not decide whether the Constitution requires States to allow eugenic abortions. It addressed the constitutionality of only “five provisions of the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982” that were said to burden the supposed constitutional right to an abortion. Casey, supra, at 844. None of those provisions prohibited abortions based solely on race, sex, or disability. In fact, the very first paragraph of the respondents’ brief in Casey made it clear to the Court that Pennsylvania’s prohibition on sex-selective abortions was “not [being] challenged,” Brief for Respondents in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, O. T. 1991, Nos. 91–744, 91–902, p. 4. In light of the Court’s denial of certiorari today, the constitutionality of other laws like Indiana’s thus remains an open question.
Thomas blasted his Court because he believes treating abortion as a constitutional right “based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement.”
He ended with some harsh words for his colleagues and the Court in general:
Although the Court declines to wade into these issues today, we cannot avoid them forever. Having created the constitutional right to an abortion, this Court is dutybound 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.
The Constitution should have a definition of life in it. I hate it when people say women have a constitutional right to an abortion when it doesn’t even mention abortion.
Thomas is correct. The Supreme Court cannot avoid this subject for long, but they will for as long as they can.
Since I doubt neither of those two will happen anytime soon, we should stop relying on the courts so much. Instead, let’s aim to end abortion by changing a person’s heart and mind. It can become a long process, but it can happen. How do I know? I used to advocate for abortion, but will now passionately defend an unborn human being’s right to life.DONATE
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