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Abortion Access Restored in Indiana

Court temporarily blocks abortion ban that took effect on September 15

09.22.22 — (PRESS RELEASE) Today, an Indiana circuit court granted a request from abortion providers and a pregnancy resource center to temporarily block abortion ban Senate Bill 1 (S.B. 1), immediately restoring abortion access in the state. The court granted a preliminary injunction (PI) against the ban that went into effect on September 15, leaving patients in the state and across the region without vital health care services for the past week.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued in court Monday that the abortion ban violates both the Indiana Constitution’s right to privacy and equal privileges protections and the court agreed, concluding that “there is reasonable likelihood that decisions about family planning, including decisions about whether to carry a pregnancy to term – are included in Article I, § 1’s protections.” Lawyers for the state had taken the extreme position that in addition to being able to enact this ban, that there is nothing stopping the Indiana General Assembly from prohibiting rape survivors from seeking abortions, or even possibly banning oral contraception outright.

As a result of the ruling, abortion providers will be able to continue to provide vital, life-saving care to Hoosiers while litigation continues.

Joint statement from leaders from Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, All-Options, Women’s Med, the Lawyering Project, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, and ACLU of Indiana:

“We knew this ban would cause irreparable harm to Hoosiers, and in just a single week, it has done just that. We are grateful that the court granted much needed relief for patients, clients, and providers but this fight is far from over. Indiana lawmakers have made it abundantly clear that this harm, this cruelty, is exactly the reality they had in mind when they passed S.B. 1. There are 1.5 million people of reproductive age in the state of Indiana, and every single one of them deserve the right to make their own decisions about their bodies, families, and futures.”

S.B. 1 was the first abortion ban in the country to be passed, signed into law, and go into effect following this summer’s U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The law was passed in a special session called by lawmakers that, while they rushed the ban through, ignored the thousands of providers, patients, and advocates that packed the statehouse, trying to appeal to the elected officials that purport to serve them.

The lawsuit was filed by the Lawyering Projectthe ACLU of IndianaPlanned Parenthood Federation of America, and WilmerHale on behalf of  Whole Woman’s Health AllianceAll-Options, IncWomen’s Med Group Professional Corporation,  Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky and Dr. Amy Caldwell.