IN judge blocks law requiring ultrasounds before abortion

Posted April 07, 2017

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of IN, along with Planned Parenthood of IN and Kentucky, sued the state last July, asserting that the law was unconstitutional and would prevent some women from obtaining abortions, The Associated Press reported.

Planned Parenthood is a health center that offers a variety of services including reproductive care, STD and HIV testing, well-women gynecology care for those of low income, cancer screenings and, yes, choice-bearing abortion services.

Pratt also said the state failed to justify its requirement that women make two trips to abortion clinics, which creates an undue burden for women on limited incomes. "There have been lots of states to take away Title X funding to Planned Parenthood, and the effects have been bad", Lynn said.

With HEA 1337, IN lawmakers created several new provisions regulating abortions IN the state, but Friday's ruling addresses only the ultrasound mandate.

"The burdens it creates on women seeking to terminate their pregnancies - which are significant even if not overwhelming - dramatically outweigh the benefits, making the burdens undue and the new ultrasound law likely unconstitutional", Pratt wrote. The law passed in IN would mean that poor working women would have to likely travel far distances, not once but twice, in order to obtain an abortion, something the constitution guarantees.

"The United States Supreme Court has recognized that the abortion choice is often a hard and painful moral decision with lasting significance, and that states have an interest in ensuring the decision is well informed", Fisher said. Some 26 states also have regulations controlling ultrasounds and abortions, and three require that an ultrasound be performed at least 24 hours before an abortion.

The women's health organization argues that Indiana's abortion restriction puts an undue burden on women and serves no objective other than to block their right to an abortion, and is therefore unconstitutional.

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Pratt also found that "there is little to no concrete evidence" to support the state's argument that informed-consent waiting periods decrease the likelihood that a woman will go through with an abortion they already chose to have.

In 2016, only about 25 percent of IN women seeking abortions at a PPINK health center actually viewed the ultrasound.

States that attempt to exclude Planned Parenthood from the group of care providers that are eligible for federal Title X funding may face legal opposition.

Ali Slocum, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of IN and Kentucky, said the group had no immediate comment on Pratt's ruling ahead of a Monday afternoon news conference the group will hold with the ACLU of Indiana.

Vice President Mike Pence, then-Indiana Gov., signed the legislation into law in March 2016.

The Planned Parenthood affiliates behind the Missouri lawsuit said in a statement Wednesday they were "strongly encouraged" by Sachs' intention against what they called illegal "and medically unnecessary abortion restrictions in Missouri".

Fichter urged Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill to appeal the case in a higher court.