Indiana passed a fetal defect abortion ban (and put some other restrictions in, too)

On Thursday, Republican Indiana governor, Mike Pence, signed into law a bill that bans abortions based on objections to the fetus’s race, gender, or disability status. And that’s not all…

If you’re giving this law the benefit of the doubt and assuming it is not just another one of the many TRAP laws sweeping the nation, get this: the law not only holds doctors liable if they perform abortions for patients who have expressed an objection to their child’s gender, race, or disability, it also requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, or have an arrangement with a doctor that does. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, making the latter clause unnecessary and burdensome on both patients and doctors.

Gov. Pence went on record saying that this law “will ensure the dignified final treatment of the unborn and prohibits abortions that are based only on the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry or disability, including Down syndrome.” If you’ve been following Indiana legislation, you will at once recognize the irony in a statement like this. Just last year, Gov. Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which gives any individual or corporation in Indiana the right to use religious beliefs as a defense if sued by a private party. Freedom of religion is protected by the constitution so this law was not only unnecessary, but it created a loophole for people to discriminate against LGBTQ people. Discrimination against unborn fetuses? No way! Discrimination against the living, tax-paying citizens of Indiana? We hope not, but people could get away with it if they really wanted to.

Ultimately the decision to end a pregnancy is up to individuals and their doctors. It is never an easy decision and we should trust people to make it on their own, with their unique circumstances in mind. Indiana’s new law creates another barrier for abortion access, particularly for low income people who may not have the resources to travel longer distances or out of the state for alternatives.

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Feministing's resident "sexpert", Sesali is a published writer and professional shit talker. She is a queer Black girl, fat girl, and trainer. She was the former Training Director at the United States Student Association and later a member of the Youth Organizing team at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She received her bachelors in Women's and Gender Studies from Depaul University in 2012 and is currently pursuing a master's in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. A self identified "trap" feminist, and trained with a reproductive justice background, her interests include the intersections of feminism and: pop culture, youth culture, social media, hip hop, girlhood, sexuality, race, gender, and Beyonce. Sesali joined the team in 2010 as one of the winners of our So You Think You Can Blog contest.

is Feministing's resident sexpert and cynic.

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