On Thursday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation banning abortions on preborn babies based on fetal abnormalities, such as a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The measure will also prohibit abortions based on the race, sex, or disability of the child.
The Republican governor signed the measure hours ahead of the deadline to act on bills handed to him by the state legislature. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky has already vowed to take legal action to block the law, which is set to take effect in July.
In a statement, Pence called the measure “a comprehensive pro-life measure that affirms the value of all human life.”
“I believe that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable — the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn,” Pence said.
Under the law, abortionists who refuse to comply will be held responsible for the wrongful death of the child, and the state medical licensing board may take action. The law also requires aborted babies to be either cremated or buried.
Indiana joins North Dakota, which placed a similar law on the books prohibiting Down syndrome abortions in 2013.