Speaking at a press conference about Thursday’s federal court order stopping another abortion law passed by the Indiana Legislature, ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk noted this is not the first time the Statehouse has passed a bill attempting to limit abortions.
“Welcome to our annual meeting in June to discuss lawsuits concerning recent abortion laws,” he said.
The preliminary injunction granted by the Southern Indiana District Court prevents a provision in SEA 340 that would have required Planned Parenthood and its doctors to report what the law described as abortion complications. Failure to do so could have resulted in licensing sanctions as well as criminal charges.
The ACLU of Indiana, on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, argued that provision was so vague that no one knew what to report.
“When dealing with a law that has criminal penalties and licensing penalties, due process demands specificity both to protect Planned Parenthood but also the people enforcing the law to understand what the law is,” Falk said.
However, with a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court and many suspecting the landmark Roe v. Wade could be overturned, it is not certain that Planned Parenthood will continue to be successful in blocking new Indiana laws.
Christie Gillespie, president and CEO of PPINK, said she could not predict what Indiana lawmakers would do if the Supreme Court reverses precedent.
“I think that we can expect every year in the General Assembly, based on their history, that there will be some sort of anti-choice legislation introduced and likely passed in the state of Indiana,” she said.
Falk noted court observers along with proponents and opponents of abortion may be getting ahead of themselves. He pointed out the Supreme Court has indicated it is not a legislature that changes positions because it gets new members. Instead it has “tremendous respect” for precedent.
“We’ll just have to see what happens,” he said.
After the press conference, Gillespie said abortions will not stop regardless of what the Supreme Court does.
“Just because Roe v. Wade could be overturned, it doesn’t end abortions,” she said. “It just ends safe and legal abortions. We can go back in every period of history and see women have found ways to end unintended pregnancies.”