Appeals Court Rules Against Indiana University In Abortion Lawsuit

Mar 14, 2019

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that parts of an Indiana anti-abortion law are not too vague to be constitutional, reversing a lower court decision.

It's the state’s first court victory over the controversial 2016 measure.

Part of a 2016 anti-abortion law bars anyone from acquiring, receiving, selling, or transferring aborted fetal tissue. Indiana University sued; it uses fetal tissue in its medical research.

A federal district judge ruled in favor of IU. She said the law’s terms and definitions were too vague to be enforced.

But the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees. It rules that if the measure’s language is too vague, then much of existing law would also be unconstitutional. And its decision says IU should bring a lawsuit in Indiana state court to bring clarity to the statute.

The appellate court has previously struck down other provisions of that 2016 law.