SCOTUS may hear appeal of Indiana law that directly challenges Roe
State lawmakers in Indiana appealed the case about a week after Kavanaugh was sworn in, arguing that “technological advances have improved ... prenatal testing that screens for Down syndrome and other fetal abnormalities,” which results in most women choosing abortion when they receive a diagnosis.The latest available data, from 1995-2011, show that 67 percent of pregnancies that test positive for Down syndrome end in abortion. Pregnant women can screen for Trisomy 21, a chromosomal abnormality, through a blood sample.The Indiana abortion ban was signed by Vice President Mike Pence, who was governor of the state at the time. It contains exemptions for conditions that "with reasonable certainty result in the death of the child not more than three months after the child’s birth.”In 2016, a federal judge blocked the Indiana law from going into effect, and a 3-0 ruling in the 7th Circuit Court in Chicago ruled it unconstitutional. They pointed to the Supreme Court's Roedecision, saying the choice to have an abortion was not up to the government but was to be a decision between a woman and her doctor. In June, a dissenting opinion urged the appeals court to reconsider its ruling, with one of the judges saying that the Supreme Court had not ruled on what he termed a "eugenics statute."
The question over whether Kavanaugh would cast a deciding vote to overrule or weaken Roe featured prominently in Democratic attacks early during his confirmation hearings. Later, the messaging centered primarily on sexual assault allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, who said he touched her inappropriately and covered her mouth while he was drunk and they were both in high school.When asked by senators about abortion, Kavanaugh cited Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, decisions that legalized the procedure nationwide up until fetal viability, generally understood as up to 24 weeks. Casey allowed states to regulate abortion but prohibited them from placing an "undue burden" on women who seek an abortion.Kavanaugh did not say during the hearings how he would rule on abortion or whether he believed women had a right to abortion, stressing instead that Casey created a " precedent on precedent."