AG Rokita asks court to lift multiple abortion injunctions following Dobbs decision

Days after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to lift multiple injunctions against state abortion laws.

Rokita submitted the filings Monday and released a copy of a joint stipulation in a case involving Whole Women’s Health Alliance that “halts expansion plans by abortion providers Whole Woman’s Health Alliance and Planned Parenthood in the cities of South Bend and Evansville, respectively.”

One of the laws Rokita wants an injunction lifted from includes a measure that a parent must be notified when a court approves an abortion for a minor child without parental consent, barring some extenuating circumstances. The other bans “discriminatory abortions” performed because of the unborn child’s race, sex or a disability.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky are named as plaintiffs in the two motions.

Rokita has also requested an expedited motion to vacate a preliminary injunction entered by Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker against a 2019 law banning “dismemberment abortions,” medically known as “dilation and evacuation,” which typically take place during the second trimester of pregnancies. Dr. Caitlin Bernard is the plaintiff in that case in a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

The attorney general has requested responses from the plaintiffs within three days of Monday’s filing.

“Indiana has a long history of defending life,” Rokita said in a statement, “and the Supreme Court has recognized these contributions. Indeed, the Dobbs decision expressly cited multiple Indiana cases — such as our battles to outlaw discriminatory abortion and require respectful disposition of the bodies of aborted babies.”

The joint stipulation states WWHA’s South Bend location cannot seek a license or perform a surgical abortion for 45 days starting Monday. It also states that while Planned Parenthood’s Evansville facility hasn’t applied for a license to perform medical abortions, it will not be able to request a license or perform the procedure for 45 days regardless.

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