INDIANAPOLIS – The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a preliminary injunction, stopping abortion restrictions in House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1337, which required women to obtain an ultrasound 18 hours before obtaining an abortion interfered with their constitutional rights and failed to serve any legitimate medical purpose. This requirement would have imposed long distance travel on many women, resulting in additional lost wages and expenses such as overnight accommodations.
The ACLU of Indiana, representing Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) filed a lawsuit in 2016 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, asserting the ultrasound requirement to be unconstitutional. A federal judge blocked the measure last year. The 7th Circuit upheld the previous ruling with a written opinion from Judge Rovner stating “the 18‐hour requirement imposes an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose.”
“Indiana politicians continue devising new and ever more demeaning ways to interfere with women’s constitutional rights and endanger their health,” said Jane Henegar, executive director of the ACLU of Indiana. “The ruling affirms that deeply personal decisions about abortion should be made by women in consultation with their doctors, not politicians pursuing an extreme ideological agenda.”
“HEA 1337 would require Hoosiers to make two trips to their provider — a time-consuming and expensive process," said Christie Gillespie, President and CEO of PPINK. "We are glad the court saw that there is no medical or legal justification for these rules, which would be especially burdensome for rural residents and people with low incomes.”
“Today’s ruling is a victory for women, and another repudiation of the unnecessary and unconstitutional attempts by Indiana politicians to interfere with women’s reproductive rights,” said Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana Legal Director.