INDIANAPOLIS - The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on Thursday, February 15 in the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana’s case on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) against a law (HEA 1337) that would ban women from obtaining abortions based on their reason for seeking one.
Appeals Court to Hear Oral Arguments in ACLU of Indiana Lawsuit Against Unconstitutional Abortion Ban
A federal judge declared this and other provisions of the law unconstitutional last year on the basis that they violated the Fourteenth Amendment and infringed on women’s reproductive rights. The State of Indiana then appealed that ruling to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk said, “this abortion ban is an extreme and unconstitutional attempt by Indiana politicians to intrude on a woman’s fundamental privacy rights. Courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court and the District Court in this case, have long recognized these deeply personal decisions should be made by women in consultation with their doctors—not by politicians or government bureaucrats.”
House Enrolled Act 1337, signed into law by former Governor Mike Pence on March 24, 2016, imposes unprecedented restrictions on abortion. HEA 1337 barred a woman from getting an abortion based on her reason. Specifically, it prohibits abortions if the sole reason for the abortion is the fetus’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex or diagnosis of a statutorily-defined “disability” or “potential diagnosis” of a “disability.”
The law also required that women must be informed of this prohibition as part of Indiana’s state-mandated so-called “informed consent” process. Compelling health care providers to inform women about an unconstitutional law violates the First Amendment.
The case, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, et al., v. Commissioner, Indiana State Department of Health, Prosecutors of Marion, Lake, Monroe, and Tippecanoe Counties; Individual Members of the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana, Case No. 1:16-cv-00763-TWP-DML, was filed on Thurs. April 7, 2016 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Attorneys on the case include Kenneth J. Falk, Gavin M. Rose and Jan P. Mensz, American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana; Jennifer Sandman, Planned Parenthood Federation of America; and Andrew Beck, American Civil Liberties Union.