The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana today blocked a law that would have banned the standard method for abortion care starting in the earliest weeks of the second trimester. The ACLU of Indiana and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit challenging HEA 1211, which would ban the Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) procedure.
Today’s decision blocks this abortion ban from taking effect on July 1, ruling that the ban is likely to burden a woman’s right to access an abortion. As the judge recognized, from a medical standpoint, there is no reason to deny women and their doctors the ability to use this method of abortion care. If the law had been allowed to go into effect, it would have made it a crime for doctors to use their best medical judgment.
“It is no surprise that this abortion ban was blocked,” said Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana. “Similar or virtually identical laws have been ruled unconstitutional across the country. HEA 1211 would undoubtedly interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. This law is clearly unconstitutional.”
“I am relieved that I can continue providing the best care for patients without risking prosecution,” said Dr. Caitlin Bernard, plaintiff in the case. “Doctors must be able to use our best medical judgment, without unnecessary government interference.”
“Indiana elected officials have continuously used provocative and inflammatory rhetoric throughout this process to shame women and confuse the public in order to pass an unconstitutional law,” said Jane Henegar, executive director of the ACLU of Indiana. “This is just one of four ongoing lawsuits the ACLU of Indiana has against the state for interfering with Hoosiers’ reproductive rights. Our elected officials must stop interfering with people’s rights to make their own decisions about their health, their bodies and their families.”
Attorneys on the case include Kenneth J. Falk and Gavin M. Rose, ACLU of Indiana; and Andrew Beck, ACLU.