Another voice joins debate over Indiana’s new abortion law, federal courts asked to weigh in

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INDIANAPOLIS – Another voice has joined the debate over Indiana’s new abortion law set to go into effect July 1.

But it’s what Columbus native Kate Hamilton won’t be saying, or singing, that acts as her protest.

In an open letter posted on her website, Hamilton said she declined an offer to sing at the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Salute on Memorial Day after learning Pence would attend.

This would have been Hamilton’s third time performing at the event.

“I felt that in order to explain that this wasn’t a purely political move on my part, that it was also deeply personal, the only way to do that was to write a letter,” she said.

Hamilton, who describes herself as “an Indiana native who is bisexual, pro-choice and the descendant of immigrants” said the decision was difficult but necessary.

The measure, signed and backed by Gov. Mike Pence, prohibits an abortion based solely on gender, race or signs of a disability along with criminalizes anyone who sells, receives or transfers fetal tissue.

Last week Indiana University asked to join a federal lawsuit challenging the law.

Researchers argue the law will criminalize millions of dollars in federally-funded research into Alzheimer’s Disease.

“The IU Plaintiffs’ ongoing fetal research risks disruption if researchers can no longer access the fetal tissue they require and share the results of their research without risking a felony conviction,” attorneys argued in court documents.

On Monday, Indiana Right to Life criticized the request.

“Indiana University’s move to block Indiana’s Dignity for the Unborn law raises deep concerns over the university’s use of aborted babies for research,” Mike Fichter said, president and CEO of Indiana Right to Life.

On Friday the state argued IU’s claims shouldn’t be heard in the same case as the original lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

“This issue in particular generates strong feelings,” Pence said shortly after signing the measure into law. “I respect the feelings of every Hoosier on the issue, but I’m pro-life and I stand by my decision.”

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