Planned Parenthood files suit challenging new Indiana abortion law

April 7, 2016

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky challenging the recently enacted legislation that does not allow women to get abortions if the fetus may have a disability or potential diagnosis of a disability.

The suit also names Dr. Marshall Levine and Shauna Sidhom as plaintiffs in the case. Levine is licensed to perform abortions for Planned Parenthood, and Sidhom is a nurse practitioner.

The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief against HEA 1337, which goes into effect July 1, and also challenges its constitutionality. The suit says preventing abortions solely for disability creates an undue burden on the right to obtain one and violates the 14th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Treating fetal tissue after a first-trimester abortion differently than other medical material is “irrational” it says, and also violates the 14th Amendment’s due process clause.

The bill also violates the First Amendment, the suit alleges, by compromising patients’ rights to choose. It also violates doctors’ and nurses’ rights by forcing them to provide information that violates patients’ First Amendment rights.

The suit names as defendants the Indiana State Department of Health commissioner, prosecutors of Marion, Lake, Monroe and Tippecanoe counties and the individual members of the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana.


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