Abortion care providers challenge Indiana's near-total abortion ban
Indiana abortion care providers are trying to stop the state’s near-total abortion ban from taking effect.
A lawsuit filed in state court Tuesday that says the ban violates the Indiana Constitution.
Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky; Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, Women's Med Group Professional Corporation and All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center are Indiana’s primary providers of abortion care. They’ll be forced to stop providing that care Sept. 15, when the state’s abortion ban is set to take effect.
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They’re now challenging the ban in court. The law limits abortion to only hospitals and surgical centers owned by hospitals – and specifically bans abortion clinics. The health care organizations argue that’s unlawful discrimination under the state constitution.
They also argue that an exception in the bill – allowing abortions when the serious health or life of the pregnant person is at risk – is unconstitutionally vague. They allege a conflict about when that exception can be used. One provision suggests it’s at any time during pregnancy; another suggests it’s limited to 22 weeks of pregnancy.
ACLU of Indiana is helping lead the lawsuit. In a statement, Legal Director Ken Falk said the Indiana Constitution has always protected a right to privacy.
"Implicit in this right, is the right for a woman to make medical decisions regarding her own reproductive health," Falk said. "This ban on abortion will force Hoosiers to carry pregnancies against their will, leading to life-altering consequences and serious health risks."
But Indiana Right to Life, one of the state's most influential anti-abortion groups, said it's confident the law will stand.
"Not only is there no right to an abortion in the Indiana Constitution, it actually states life is one of our inalienable rights," said Mike Fichter, Indiana Right to Life CEO.
The health care providers want the court to at least temporarily halt the law before it takes effect.