IU joins Planned Parenthood in effort to halt Indiana’s new abortion law

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Indiana University joined Planned Parenthood Friday in a lawsuit against the state’s new abortion law.

The trustees of Indiana University, IU’s vice president of research and two faculty members from the IU School of Medicine filed paperwork to intervene in the ongoing lawsuit, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health.

IU claims the new law would interfere with research that uses fetal tissue and would potentially result in criminal charges against them.

The motion filed Friday asks the federal court for an injunction to prevent any enforcement of the law against them.

The attorney general’s office says the lawsuit and IU dispute are two separate distinct legal issues that the court ought to hear separately and not in the same case.

“These two separate disputes do not sufficiently overlap to justify litigating them together; IU is not making the same legal argument as Planned Parenthood or even challenging the same statute as Planned Parenthood,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said.

Gov. Mike Pence signed HEA 1337 into law two weeks ago. The law prevents women from aborting a fetus due to Down syndrome or other genetic abnormalities. The measure also prohibits abortions sought on the basis of gender or race. Indiana is the second state in the nation to enact such a law.

The The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and PPINK claim the law violates due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment as well as First Amendment rights of free speech.

The new law gained national attention following a social media campaign called “Periods for Pence.” The group asks women to call the governor’s office to discuss their menstrual cycles to protest the law.