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Indiana Bans Abortions for Fetal Genetic Abnormalities

Indiana governor Mike Pence signed a bill yesterday that bans abortions pursued because of fetal genetic abnormalities, the Associated Press reports. Indiana is the second US state after North Dakota to enact such a ban.

Pence, a Republican, says the bill is "a comprehensive pro-life measure that affirms the value of all human life," according to the AP. It also bans abortions based on ancestry, race, or sex, and says aborted fetuses may only be disposed of via burial or cremation.

"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," he adds in a statement.

Critics of the bill say that it will force women to proceed with difficult pregnancies that endanger their health as well as lead women to not be open with their doctors. In addition, opponents say the measure may not reduce the number of abortions performed as women could provide another reason.

"We know that you're going to be forcing woman and families to suffer emotionally because they're going to be force to carry pregnancies that are not viable," says Kate Connors, director of communications for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which had called on Pence to veto the bill.

The bill is set to take effect in July, though Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky says it will seek to block it in court, the AP notes.