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The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld an Indiana law that requires abortion providers to dispose of aborted fetuses in the same way as human remains, a sign that the conservative court is more open to abortion restrictions.

But the justices rejected the state's appeal of a lower court ruling blocking a separate provision that would prevent a woman in Indiana from having an abortion based on gender, race or disability.

The high court, with two liberal justices dissenting, thus found a way perhaps to signal a greater receptivity to state restrictions in the area of abortion without yet welcoming a more direct challenge to abortion rights.

The court split 7-2 in allowing Indiana to enforce the requirement that clinics either bury or cremate fetal remains, reversing a ruling by a federal appeals court that had blocked it. The justices said in an unsigned opinion that the case does not involve limits on abortion rights.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Ginsburg said in a short solo opinion that she believes that the issue does implicate a woman's right to have an abortion "without undue interference from the state."

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago had blocked both provisions of a law signed by Vice President Mike Pence in 2016 when he was Indiana's governor.

The Supreme Court's action Tuesday keeps it out of an election-year review of the Indiana law amid a flurry of new state laws that go the very heart of abortion rights. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey this month signed a law that would ban virtually all abortions, even in cases of incest and rape, and subject doctors who perform them to criminal prosecution. That law has yet to take effect and is being challenged in court.

Other states have passed laws that would outlaw abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, typically around six weeks of gestation.

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