INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Planned Parenthood is suing the state of Indiana over a new restriction on abortion.
The federal lawsuit comes on the heels of a successful legal challenge by Planned Parenthood against a law that took Medicaid funding away from it. Now the abortion provider is fighting attempts to close a Lafayette clinic.
The Lafayette Planned Parenthood Clinic dispenses the abortion pill. Under a new law it has until the first of the year to stop doing so, or meet new requirements that include the addition of surgical facilities.
"We think they're unconstitutional," says Betty Cockrum of Planned Parenthood, "and we certainly think they're absolutely, they're absurd on their face. They serve no purpose."
Planned Parenthood has teamed up with the ACLU of Indiana to file the suit aimed at maintaining the status quo at the Lafayette clinic.
"It has to have a procedures room," said Ken Falk of the ACLU. "It has to have a recovery room and that's just irrational and it imposes a regulation that's completely unrelated to medical practice."
The new law was authored by state Senator Travis Holdman (R-Markle) who admitted in February that he filed a bill because of personal convictions.
"There has been no regulation of abortion inducing drugs in the state of Indiana," said Sen. Holdman at the time.
His bill was controversial from the beginning with Sen. Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) telling fellow Senators, "This bill is not about patient safety. It's about patient harassment."
Holdman was at the Statehouse Thursday and said, "It's a good law." But that's all he would say about the lawsuit while declining to answer questions.
No matter what happens with the lawsuit Planned Parenthood intends to keep providing health care services at the Lafayette Clinic. If the new law takes effect, women seeking an abortion will have to travel to clinics in Merrillville, Indianapolis, or Bloomington.
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