U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young yesterday struck down a medically unnecessary Indiana law that would have singled out abortion providers by requiring invasive and vague reporting. Calling the law a cruel intimidation tactic, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) — represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Indiana and Planned Parenthood Federation of America — filed a federal lawsuit against Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 340 in 2018.
The law would have required health providers to submit a report to the state when a patient seeks treatment for a wide range of health conditions after having an abortion. Medical providers who failed to submit such a report would have faced criminal penalties and possible jail time. SEA 340 is the latest in a series of abortion restrictions struck down by Indiana courts in recent years.
Statement from Ken Falk, legal director, ACLU of Indiana:
“The definition of abortion complications in SEA 340, in such broad and uncertain terms, makes it next-to-impossible for medical providers to know what is or is not an abortion complication. This Indiana law would have burdened both patients and their medical providers with unnecessary reporting requirements. Reproductive health care, including abortion, should be safe and available to those who need it, and not restricted by certain politicians who want to ban abortions. We will continue to fight to protect Hoosiers’ access to abortion.”
Statement from Hannah Brass Greer, chief legal counsel, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky:
“We are pleased the court has realized what we have known all along, that SEA 340 represents excessive government overreach and was designed to restrict Hoosiers access to reproductive health care. This bill should never have passed the state legislature as it has no basis in science and medicine. We deserve more from our elected leaders. In the middle of two public health crises — the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic violence against people of color — Indiana lawmakers should be working together to increase access to care, not trying to restrict it. The reporting requirements set by this law are another attempt by Indiana politicians to shame and stigmatize people seeking abortion services and to spread the myth that abortion is dangerous. At Planned Parenthood, the safety of patients is our top priority; SEA 340 is not about safety. This law is unconstitutional and that is why it was struck down.