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Indiana wants ban on abortion pill law lifted

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An Indiana law that would require Planned Parenthood to stop performing drug-induced abortions at a Lafayette clinic or make significant upgrades to the facility wouldn't block women's access to the procedure, attorneys for the state contend.

The Indiana attorney general's office filed a brief late Monday supporting its request for summary judgment in the case. Both the state and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana asked U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson to rule in their favor after she issued a preliminary injunction in November blocking the 2013 law from taking effect.

The law would require clinics that only perform drug-induced abortions to meet the same standards as those that perform surgical abortions by adding a recovery room and surgical equipment and making other upgrades. While some Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana offer both procedures, the Lafayette clinic only performs drug-induced abortions.

The state's attorneys say that although the law might require some women to travel farther to obtain an abortion, that isn't illegal and the ACLU failed to show it would prevent anyone from seeking the procedure.

"The Supreme Court has never held that a woman is entitled to the abortion method of her choice," the state's attorneys argued.

The ACLU argued in its previous brief that the law would "irrationally" require clinics that offer medication-induced abortions to meet the same requirements as surgical clinics, whether or not they perform surgeries. But the law would not require doctor's offices that prescribe abortion pills to meet the same standards as long as abortion pills are not their main business, the group said. The ACLU said that violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.

The state argued in its brief Monday that legislators have the constitutional power to treat abortion clinics and physicians' offices differently.

Betty Cockrum, the head of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said if the law is allowed to take effect, women in the Lafayette area seeking a drug-induced abortion would have to travel more than an hour to Indianapolis or to Merrillville in northwest Indiana to obtain one, because clinics there offer both drug-induced and surgical abortions. That would create a barrier to abortion for women, the ACLU contends.

If the state wins the case, Cockrum said Planned Parenthood would have to decide whether to convert the clinic so it could offer surgical abortions or to stop offering abortions there. But Planned Parenthood does more in the interest of reproductive health and contraception than offer abortions, she said.

"We will not close the Lafayette health center," Cockrum said.

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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