Advocate says Indiana abortion law heightens importance of getting more women elected to state legislatures

The head of a prominent abortion-rights group said Wednesday that the Supreme Court's recent abortion ruling shows the importance of getting more women elected at the state level.

“It is men who are trying to control women,” Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), told Hill.TV in reference to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold a provision in an Indiana law that sets rules for the disposal of fetal remains.

“That’s why it’s so important that we put more women onto the state legislatures so that we can stop these egregious laws that are unconstitutional from coming forward,” Van Pelt added. “When we have more women in office, more women making these decisions, we won’t see these kinds of horrific laws.”

The Supreme Court weighed in on two provisions of an Indiana state law regarding abortions this week. 

While the high court upheld the state’s requirement that fetal remains be buried or cremated, the justices kept in place a lower court ruling that struck down the ban on abortions based on the fetus’s gender, race or disabilities.

The Supreme Court's decisions come amid a wave of anti-abortion laws being passed by state legislatures.

Planned Parenthood said Tuesday that it has sued Missouri over the state's refusal to renew its annual license to provide abortions during an ongoing lawsuit. If its license is not renewed, Missouri could become the first state in the country without a functioning abortion clinic since the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.

"Planned Parenthood has served Missouri for more than 87 years, and we will fight to provide care for another century," the organization tweeted on Tuesday.

—Tess Bonn