INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The ACLU of Indiana and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky will argue in court Tuesday that multiple provisions of a new abortion law are unconstitutional.
Governor Eric Holcomb signed Senate Bill 404 into law in April 25. The law is set to take effect July 1.
The legislation will make it tougher for girls under the age of 18 to get an abortion without their parents’ knowledge. The law requires judges considering giving a minor permission to have an abortion to also consider whether her parents should be notified.
Another provision of the new legislation requires physicians to review identification, which the ACLU says is not required for any other medical or surgical procedure.
The ACLU argues that the law “imposes unconstitutional requirements on physicians and health care providers as well as undue burdens on young women’s reproductive rights.”
“Indiana already has a parental consent law,” said Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana executive director. “SEA 404 simply goes too far, and could endanger the very people it purports to protect. While we hope all young women facing this difficult and personal decision are able to discuss it with their parents, that’s not always the case. There are many reasons, such as neglectful, absent or abusive parents, for a young woman who has decided to have an abortion to do so without parental consent or notice.”
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill issued this statement:
“The challenge of this law is nothing more than an attempt to give courts rather than parents the legal guardianship of children. When an unemancipated minor undergoes even the most basic medical procedures, the involvement of a parent or legal guardian is typically required. However, for the time being, Wednesday’s injunction essentially encourages a minor to go it alone through the emotionally and physically overwhelming procedure of aborting a human being. We will always support the authority of parents to know what is going on with their children and continue to defend Hoosier parents,” Hill said.
“This law already enables judges to determine that some minors could have extenuating circumstances in their relationships with their parents that make notification unwise or unsafe. In these instances, judges have full authority to waive the notification of parents. By requiring minors to notify their parents, Senate Enrolled Act 404 increases the likelihood that minors will go through this process with the support and guidance needed.”