Federal judge rules portions of IN abortion law unconstitutional

Indiana Judge Strikes Down Law Banning Abortion Based on a Diagnosis of Down Syndrome

The law prohibited abortions sought for certain reasons, such as a diagnosed disability in the fetus.

Planned Parenthood of IN and Kentucky (PPINK) and the ACLU of IN filed a lawsuit against the 2016 law and won an injunction IN June 2016.

In a 22-page final decision issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt solidified her earlier injunction against the law from June of previous year.

Indiana's top law enforcement official planned to appeal the ruling, while abortion advocates celebrated their victory.

At that time, Judge Pratt stated that parts of the law were likely to be found unconstitutional.

"Accordingly, the court concludes that the anti-discrimination provisions of HEA 1337 are unconstitutional".

In addition to the part of the law that banned selective abortions, the judge also struck down another provision dictating how the remains of a fetus are to be handled.

Moreover, even if the state had a legal interest, she said the law still would fail because it authorizes women to claim and dispose of fetal remains as they see fit, as well as permits mass cremation of fetal remains - neither of which the state allows for dead bodies.

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Pratt's ruling says the three provisions violate women's due process rights under the Constitution and "directly contravene well-established law".

She previously issued a temporary injunction prior to the statute's July 1, 2016, effective date.

Christie Gillespie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of IN and Kentucky, said IN a statement that HEA 1337 "is just another example of politicians coming between physicians and patients". "This is just another example of politicians coming between physicians and patients", said Christie Gillespie, President and CEO of PPINK.

The state never appealed the initial ruling and ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk says he hoped that would stay the same after the new decision.

Pratt's order makes permanent her June 2016 order that temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the fetal disposal provision, the ban on abortions sought due to genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome and a requirement that abortion providers tell women IN prohibits such abortions.

Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill, who defended the law in court, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Advocates on Monday hailed a U.S. judge's ruling permanently blocking IN abortion limits considered among the nation's most restrictive, while the state said it would appeal the decision. Support from subscribers is vital to continue our mission.

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