The Supreme Court of the United States on Tuesday issued a ruling that reversed in part a lower court’s decision on a controversial Indiana law requiring burial or cremation of aborted fetuses.
The Court ultimately ruled that the law was permissible. Yet justices on the Court also refused to uphold a separate provision of the law, which restricted women from considering abortion on the basis of sex, race, or disability of the fetus, according to USA Today.
Documents from the ruling reveal a testy exchange between two justices on the Court, per an observational report from Alternet. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas traded barbs between one another.
Clarence noted in footnotes within his concurring opinion that Ginsburg refused to consider the decision’s validity.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor both would have let stand a lower court ruling blocking the provision. https://t.co/z3Fni5YUXC
— ABC News (@ABC) May 28, 2019
“JUSTICE GINSBURG does not even attempt to argue that the decision below was correct,” Thomas wrote. “Instead, she adopts … [the] alternative suggestion that regulating the disposition of an aborted child’s body might impose an ‘undue burden’ on the mother’s right to abort that (already aborted) child.”
Thomas didn’t agree with Ginsburg’s beliefs. “This argument is difficult to understand, to say the least, which may explain why even respondent Planned Parenthood did not make it,” he added.
Ginsburg rebutted Thomas’s notions, notingthat her colleague used the wrong terminology at points in his observations.
“A woman who exercises her constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy is not a ‘mother,'” Ginsburg pointed out.
She further elaborated that the costs of disposal for an aborted fetus, including cremation or burial costs, could be seen as a burden for women who were of limited means.
“The cost of, and trauma potentially induced by, a post-procedure requirement may well constitute an undue burden … under the rational-basis standard applied below, (and) Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky had no need to marshal evidence that Indiana’s law posed an undue burden,” Ginsburg said.