Federal judge: life begins at conception
INDIANAPOLIS, June 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Planned Parenthood’s request to block a provision of an Indiana law that requires doctors to tell women who are seeking abortions that “human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm,” was denied by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt last week.
“Plaintiffs contend that in the context of abortion, the meaning of these words, both individually and in combination, represent a plethora of opinions and beliefs about life and its inception. The Court respectfully disagrees,” wrote Pratt.
“When read together, the language crafted by the legislature in this provision supports a finding that the mandated statement refers exclusively to a growing organism that is a member of the Homo sapiens species.”
The judge disagreed with Planned Parenthood’s suggestion that the phrasing was “misleading.”
“Here, the mandated statement states only a biological fact relating to the development of the living organism; therefore, it may be reasonably read to provide accurate, non-misleading information to the patient,” the court wrote. “Under Indiana law, a physician must disclose the facts and risks of a treatment which a reasonably prudent physician would be expected to disclose under like circumstances, and which a reasonable person would want to know.”
Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) had also sought an injunction against another part of the same law, House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1210, which barred federal Medicaid funds from going to the abortion provider. Pratt granted that request, noting that the Obama administration had threatened to gut the state’s entire Medicaid allotment to save PPIN’s portion.
Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, praised the judge for upholding scientific fact, but said that they would continue to ensure that the measure defunding Planned Parenthood goes into effect.
“While this is a significant partial victory for Life, we will press on to ensure that the full law will go into effect to defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana,” Brejcha said. “We stand ready to defend Life in other states as they plan to defund Planned Parenthood and require doctors to tell women that life begins at conception.”