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Indiana abortion complications law takes effect after federal court decision

Brandon Smith/IPB News

An Indiana anti-abortion law that requires doctors to report a long list of supposed complications from abortion is taking effect.

That’s after a federal appeals court decision that overturned earlier rulings that had struck down the law.

A 2018 law, SEA 340, requires doctors to report a list of 25 "complications … arising from" abortions, including "psychological complications" like anxiety. And they face criminal penalties if they fail to do so.

Multiple courts halted that law, ruling it was too broad and vague to enforce. Lawmakers narrowed the law in 2019, limiting some of the broad language. But the list of complications remained.

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A federal court still struck it down – until the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided to uphold the law, finally letting it take effect.

The appeals court still acknowledged that much of the law was vague. But it said because abortion providers challenged the law before it took effect, they had a harder time winning in court.

The court noted that, once the law takes effect, if abortion providers can show the measure is unconstitutionally harming them, the law could still be struck down.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.