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Federal judge blocks Indiana abortion-drug law

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A federal judge Tuesday granted an injunction blocking enforcement of an Indiana law that would have required Planned Parenthood clinics that provide abortion-inducing medications to also meet the requirements of clinics that perform surgical abortions.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky sued the state and won a preliminary injunction against Senate Enrolled Act 371 that was signed into law May 1 by Gov. Mike Pence.

Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson of the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis ruled Planned Parenthood was likely to prevail on its pleading that Indiana Code § 16-18-2-1.5(a)(2) violates equal-protection guarantees because it divides providers of medication abortions into two groups – abortion clinics and physicians offices – and places different requirements on them.

In the case of Planned Parenthood’s Lafayette clinic, the law required the clinic to meet the same physical plant requirements of facilities that perform surgical abortions, even though that clinic doesn’t do so.

“The State has not presented a rational basis for distinguishing between medication abortion providers in this way, particularly when considering the statutory ambiguity between the terms ‘abortion clinic’ and ‘physician’s office,’” Magnus-Stinson wrote in granting a preliminary injunction in Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Inc. v.; Commissioner, Indiana State Department of Health, et al., 1:13-cv-1335-JMS-MJD.

According to the judge, without an injunction, Planned Parenthood would have to determine whether it would cease providing abortion-inducing pills or modify the Lafayette facility. “Given (Planned Parenthood’s) strong likelihood of success on the merits of its equal protection claim, the Court concludes that the balancing of harms favors issuing a preliminary injunction,” she wrote.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office defended the statute and in a statement after the ruling noted that Planned Parenthood didn’t prevail on other claims for injunctive relief.

“This new law reflects the policy judgment of Indiana legislators elected by our citizens.  The Court’s decision faulting the law for treating nonsurgical abortion clinics different from physicians’ offices must be thoroughly reviewed. Because of the narrow ruling, we will consult with our clients and decide how next to proceed,” Zoeller said.

 

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  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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