INDIANAPOLIS — Planned Parenthood, along with other women’s health groups, have filed a lawsuit to block Indiana’s near-total ban on abortion from taking effect.
The lawsuit, which was filed in state court this week, argues that the new law violates the right to privacy and equal privileges protections under the Indiana Constitution. The suit was filed by Planned Parenthood’s Great Northwest group along with Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation and All-Options, Inc.
Additionally, the lawsuit argues the abortion law does not provide doctors clarity on when abortions would be allowed. The suit also states that the three exceptions the law allows for abortion are “extremely limited” and unclear.
Senate Bill 1, a statewide, near-total ban on abortions, was passed by the Indiana Senate and signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb on Aug. 5. The first state to hold a special session on abortion following the Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade, Indiana became a center of discussion on abortion rights following the bill’s passage.
If the Court chooses not to intervene regarding Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit, the ban is set to take effect on Sept. 15. This, Planned Parenthood argues in the lawsuit, will “virtually eliminate abortion access across the state.”
“Unless this ban is blocked, patients seeking abortion will be unable to access timely and potentially life-saving care in their own communities,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “The abortion ban that the legislature rushed through during a special session — nearly immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade — is both dangerous and incredibly cruel. We demand more for patients and providers, and we will continue fighting for everyone’s right to make their own decisions about their bodies, lives, and futures.”
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has repeatedly supported the Senate bill, fighting multiple lawsuits asking for dismissal of abortion regulations since the bill’s passage. Rokita released a statement Tuesday following the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a state law that will require health care providers to report abortion complications to the state health department.
“We are making strong and steady progress in protecting women’s health and safeguarding unborn children,” AG Rokita said. “Day by day, we are building a culture that respects the lives and well-being of all Hoosiers.”
Rokita also provided a statement on Tuesday regarding Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit.
“The Left is notorious for fighting to erase all of the progress and protections secured by the pro-life movement. Hoosiers respect and value all lives, including the lives of the unborn. This is why our legislators voted to stop these inhumane practices, and it’s why my office is dedicated to defending this life-saving law. We don’t need the warped opinions of organizations like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood dictating how we do things in Indiana.”Attorney General Todd Rokita
Two of Indiana’s largest employers, including Eli Lilly and Cummins, have publicly opposed the abortion ban, saying they will now look for growth opportunities outside of the state. Many advocacy groups, including the ACLU of Indiana, have also said the bill violates the state’s constitution.
“From its very inception, the Indiana Constitution has protected the right to privacy. Implicit in this right, is the right for a woman to make medical decisions regarding her own reproductive health,” said Ken Falk, legal director at the ACLU of Indiana. “This ban on abortion will force Hoosiers to carry pregnancies against their will, leading to life-altering consequences and serious health risks. Deeply private, personal, and unique decisions about reproductive health should be made by women in consultation with their doctors. Whether Indiana elected officials personally agree with abortion access or not, it is not up to the government to make these decisions for Hoosiers.”
To read a full copy of the filed lawsuit, click here.