For the third time, the Supreme Court of the United States has distributed Indiana’s controversial abortion law for conference. The justices are now scheduled to review Indiana’s petition for writ of certiorari Friday.
The state is asking the Supreme Court to review its 2016 law that has two key provisions. The first requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated and the second prohibits a woman from terminating her pregnancy because of the fetus’ race, gender, national origin, ancestry or genetic abnormality.
Previously, the petition had been listed for the justices’ conference on Jan. 4 then was relisted for conference on Jan. 11. The court has provided no explanation as to why the Indiana petition is again on the conference agenda.
The case, Kristina Box, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Health, et al., v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc., et al., 18-483, has attracted the attention of many anti-abortion groups. Several, including the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund, have filed amicus curiae briefs asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.
The law was passed by the Indiana General Assembly as House Enrolled Act 1337. Authored by former state representative Casey Cox, R-Fort Wayne, the bill did have some Republican opposition but still passed both chambers by comfortable margins.
Former Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill into law March 24, 2016. However, the Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc., represented by the ACLU of Indiana, sued and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the law from taking effect.