ACLU, PPINK Pleased by Court Ruling on Ultrasound Requirement

Decision garnered national attention as requirement would have made Indiana one of the most restrictive states to obtain an abortion

April 3, 2017

In a joint news conference today, the ACLU of Indiana and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) shared in the victory of being granted a preliminary injunction by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana regarding the ultrasound requirement in House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1337.

"HEA 1337 required women to travel, often great distances, to obtain an ultrasound and then at least 18 hours later, return for an abortion. The court found that this new requirement resulted in a real impediment to women and served no legitimate purpose," said Ken Falk, the ACLU of Indiana Legal Director. "The court concluded, by granting the preliminary injunction, that PPINK was likely to ultimately succeed in its claim that the law was unconstitutional as an undue burden on a woman's constitutional rights."

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PPINK, with the assistance of the ACLU of Indiana, filed a lawsuit on July 7, 2016, with the U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, declaring the ultrasound requirement in Indiana law to be unconstitutional.

"PPINK was confident that Judge Tanya Walton Pratt would rule that forcing women to have an ultrasound 18 hours prior to an abortion constitutes an undue burden and therefore violates the Constitution," said Betty Cockrum, CEO and president of PPINK. "PPINK practices evidence-based medicine. Our doctors know the best medical protocol is to perform an ultrasound closer to the time of the procedure, not 18 hours in advance. The law was passed purely to further burden access to safe legal abortion and is in fact counter to best medical practice. Politicians need to get out of our doctors' offices."

A hearing on PPINK's motion for a preliminary injunction against the ultrasound requirement in HEA 1337 was held on Nov. 9. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt entered the preliminary junction on March 31, 2017.

National, Statewide Interest

The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and other national publications covered the decision along with The Indianapolis Star, Fox59, and other news organizations statewide as the legislation would have been among the most obstructive abortion restrictions of any state.

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