Parties ask for December nonsurgical abortion ruling to be made final

Attorneys for the state of Indiana and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky filed a joint motion Tuesday requesting a federal judge make final her Dec. 3 ruling that found a 2013 law regulating nonsurgical abortion clinics violated the Equal Protection Clause.

Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted partial summary judgment for Planned Parenthood. She did not rule on its due process claim and did not issue a final judgment.

The 2013 law put restrictions on drug-induced abortions, requiring clinics which only dispense medications that cause abortions must have the same equipment and facilities as a clinic that provides surgical abortions. In addition, the law prohibits the Indiana Department of Health from waiving the surgical requirements.

Shortly after the ruling, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller pointed out that the state cannot appeal because a final judgment had not been issued. Planned Parenthood filed the lawsuit in August 2013 and had its motion for preliminary injunction granted in November 2013.

Magnus-Stinson had invited the parties to confer as to whether a trial in June 2015 on the due process claim was necessary.

Zoeller said in a statement that further litigation on the due process claim is unnecessary, and even if successful would not result in implementation of the law given the ruling on the equal protection claim. He also suggested that if the judgment is made final, it is possible for the Indiana General Assembly to revise the statute.


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