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Planned Parenthood asks judge to strike abortion law

October 25, 2016

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky has asked a federal judge to throw out abortion restrictions signed this year by Gov. Mike Pence that were blocked from taking effect July 1.

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt issued an injunction in June that stayed enforcement of House Enrolled Act 1337. The law would have mandated disposal of an aborted fetus only through burial or cremation and prohibited abortions because of genetic abnormality, race, sex or ancestry. The law also mandated abortion providers inform patients of anti-discrimination provisions and what they prohibited.

Planned Parenthood moved for summary judgment in its favor Tuesday in Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Inc., et al. v. Commissioner, Indiana State Department of Health, 1:16-cv-00763, arguing the statute’s provisions are unconstitutional. 

Pratt’s prior ruling granting an injunction in this case came days after the Supreme Court of the United States struck down regulations on Texas clinics that justices in a 5-3 decision held unconstitutionally limited a woman’s right to an abortion.

The Office of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller did not immediately reply to a message seeking comment on whether the state would continue to defend HEA 1337 in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Texas case.

Planned Parenthood was represented in the challenge to HEA 1337 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. After the Supreme Court decision in the Texas case, ACLU of Indiana also filed a suit on behalf of Planned Parenthood challenging another abortion restriction that took effect July 1 requiring women to have an ultrasound at least 18 hours before an abortion.

The new language in the law that took effect July 1 replaces an earlier requirement that women obtain an ultrasound prior to an abortion. Planned Parenthood argues the new requirement places an unconstitutional burden on a woman’s right to an abortion.

Pratt has scheduled a hearing Nov. 9 on a request for a preliminary injunction on the new ultrasound requirement. That case is Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Inc., et al. v. Commissioner, Indiana State Department of Health; Prosecutors of Marion, Lake, Monroe and Tippecanoe Counties, 1:16-cv-1807.
 

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