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Second Phase of Trial Begins Next Week in Whole Woman’s Health v Rokita, a Legal Challenge to Multiple Indiana Abortion Restrictions

06.17.21 – (MEDIA ADVISORY) A federal district court will consider the constitutionality of a host of Indiana abortion restrictions during an in-person trial with some remote proceedings beginning Wednesday, June 23, in Indianapolis.

During this phase of the trial, the court will consider a law prohibiting qualified clinicians other than physicians from providing first trimester abortion care; a ban on providing abortion care after the first trimester of pregnancy outside of a hospital or ambulatory surgery center (ASC); unnecessary physical plant requirements that apply to abortion clinics; and biased “counseling” laws that force abortion providers to provide patients with misleading and false information.

The first phase of trial – which was held remotely in March 2021 – considered Indiana’s ban on telemedicine to provide medication abortion care and other laws requiring an in-person interaction between providers and patients, and restrictions that force patients to make multiple medically unnecessary trips to a clinic. A ruling on those matters is pending.

This is not the only legal proceeding regarding Hoosiers’ abortion access next week.  On Monday, June 21, another federal district court will consider blocking several recently enacted abortion restrictions in Indiana, including a measure forcing health care providers to share false and misleading information with their patients about “reversing” a medication abortion, a bogus claim that may lead some patients to end a pregnancy based on the mistaken belief that its effects can later be undone.

That lawsuit – All-Options v. Attorney General of Indiana – was filed in May 2021 and also challenges a 2021 ban on patients’ ability to obtain medication abortion via telemedicine. A nearly identical ban is already being considered in Whole Woman’s Health Alliance v. Rokita.

Plaintiffs in Whole Woman’s Health Alliance v. Rokita. include Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, All-Options, and an independent physician. They are represented by the Lawyering Project, Kathrine D. Jack of the Jack Law Office LLC, and pro bono attorneys Amy Van Gelder, Lara Flath, Mollie Kornreich, Michael Powell, and Thania Charmani.