Human Life Begins at Conception, Federal Court Rules

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Jennifer LeClaire


A federal court on Friday handed down an order that temporarily suspends a provision of an Indiana law
that defunds abortionist organizations like Planned Parenthood. That’s the bad news.

The good news is the order also upheld a key provision that requires women to be informed that
“human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human

Specifically, the order explained that “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.”

“No one should be allowed to decide
that an innocent life is worthless. Abortionists have done this by
telling women that a pre-born baby is just a batch of cells instead of
what he or she actually is: a human being. This law ends that deception
in Indiana,” says Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Steven H.
Aden. “All the court did was recognize the indisputable fact that a
biological human life begins at conception. It is false to say anything

The court also disagreed with Planned Parenthood’s argument that the statement is “misleading.”

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.”

The injunction against the defunding provision issued in Planned Parenthood of Indiana v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health is likely to be appealed. In April, ADF sent a letter to Gov. Mitch Daniels in defense of that provision.

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