Planned Parenthood sues over Indiana abortion law
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Planned Parenthood is suing to block Indiana’s new abortion law.
The suit, filed Tuesday in Monroe County, claims the ban on nearly all abortions passed by the General Assembly in July violates the Indiana Constitution.
The lawsuit claims Senate Enrolled Act 1 (Special Session) violates the state constitutional right to privacy and equal privileges protections.
“This ban is dangerous and cruel,” said Rebecca Gibron, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana and Kentucky. “It will directly harm the people of Indiana and send ripple effects through our entire health care system, disproportionately harming our communities of color due to centuries of systemically racist policies— increasing the maternal mortality rate for Black women by as much as 33 percent and 21 percent across the board.”
The new law is set to take effect Sept. 15.
State Sen. Shelli Yoder, D-Bloomington, said the lawsuit is a way to fight for women’s right to privacy and bodily autonomy. She said nobody should be surprised a legal challenge was filed.
“Lawmakers who voted for this knew that this was going to be a direct issue of right to privacy and violation of right to privacy, it was going to be in the face of women’s equal protections under the law and still individuals voted for this,” she said, “so this lawsuit should come as no surprise.”
Jim Bopp, an attorney based in Terre Haute and legal counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, said the Indiana Supreme Court already upheld the state’s existing abortion laws in a case based on similar arguments. He said the court ruled the state had a compelling interest in protecting the rights of the unborn. Abortion rights supporters, he said, “are going to move heaven and earth to guarantee that right even by making preposterous legal claims that have already been rejected by the Indiana courts.”
“Not only is there no right to an abortion in the Indiana Constitution, it actually states life is one of our inalienable rights. We are confident the state will prevail and pray the new law is not blocked from going into effect on September 15, knowing that any delay will mean the indiscriminate killing of unborn children will continue at abortion clinics across Indiana.”
Mike Fichter, president and chief executive officer of Indiana Right to Life
“We set out to pass a bill in the special session that would protect life and support mothers and babies, and that’s what we did. It was always our intent to draft a bill that could withstand a constitutional challenge, and I hope to see that will be the case.”
Rodric Bray, Indiana Senate president pro tem, a Republican from Martinsville