Media Contact

Contact: Ariella Sult, ACLU of Indiana Communications Director,, 317-759-6425

May 28, 2019

Declines to Review Ban on Abortions Based on a Woman’s Reason, But Allows Other Restriction to Stand  

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a mixed ruling on two Indiana abortion restrictions. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood had challenged the law.  The first provision banned certain abortions based on the state's disapproval of a woman’s reason for the decision, namely it would have made it a crime to provide an abortion if the woman decided to end the pregnancy because of a fetal diagnosis, or based on the sex, race, national origin, or ancestry of the fetus.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the ban was unconstitutional and today the Supreme Court declined to review that ruling.  

The second provision requires embryonic and fetal tissue from an abortion or miscarriage to be buried or cremated. The Seventh Circuit also held that law unconstitutional, but today in a limited ruling the Supreme Court reversed that decision.  

The laws were challenged by the ACLU of Indiana, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.

Ken Falk, Legal Director at the ACLU of Indiana, released the following statement:

“The Court’s decision today upholds a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion, no matter the reason.  The Court’s decision on the provision of the law pertaining to the disposition of fetal tissue may have been struck down had it been reviewed – as subsequent laws in other states have been – based on whether it poses an undue burden on a woman’s right to have an abortion. We will continue to fight to ensure Hoosiers have safe access to abortion.”


Jennifer Dalven, Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, released the following statement:

“Today the Court let another unwarranted restriction on abortion stand.  While this ruling is limited, the law is part of a larger trend of state laws designed to stigmatize and drive abortion care out of reach. Whether it’s a total ban or a law designed to shut down clinics, politicians are lining up to decimate access to abortion.  The ACLU will continue to fight to ensure that every person who needs an abortion can get one.”


Chris Charbonneau, CEO at Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky released the following statement:

“The anti-reproductive health politicians who created these laws to shame patients have no place in the exam room. Planned Parenthood remains vigilant in working to stop the unprecedented rollback of reproductive rights and freedom. Nearly 40,000 patients relied on Planned Parenthood in Indiana last year to provide a full range of reproductive health care, including safe and legal abortion care. While elected officials attempt to score political points by putting the health of Hoosiers in danger, we’ll continue fighting for the rights of our patients and their ability to seek lifesaving care without fear or judgment.”