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Federal District Court Permanently Blocks Several Long-Standing Indiana Abortion Restrictions

8.10.21 – (PRESS RELEASE) Earlier today, a federal district court permanently blocked several long-standing Indiana abortion restrictions, including:  a prohibition on qualified advance-practice clinicians providing medication abortion care; a ban on providing second-trimester abortion care outside of a hospital or ambulatory surgery center (ASC); unnecessary physical plant requirements for abortion clinics; biased “counseling” laws that force abortion providers to provide patients with misleading and false information; a ban on using telemedicine to provide medication abortion care; and restrictions that force patients to make multiple, medically unnecessary trips to a clinic.

“This is a tremendous victory for abortion rights – just when Hoosiers and this entire country need it most!” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, President and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, a plaintiff in the legal challenge.  “Providing abortion care in Indiana has not been easy, and Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend is grateful to the courts for upholding the right to evidence-based abortion care by overturning these unjust and burdensome regulations. There is still work to be done, and today’s decision paves the way for better access and acceptance of abortion through the state!”

Today’s ruling comes after two separate trials were held considering the constitutionality of these restrictions; the first in March 2021 and the second in June 2021.

“Today’s ruling clearly recognizes and acknowledges the burdens Hoosiers face when they need to access abortion care,” said Parker Dockray, Executive Director of All-Options, a plaintiff in the case.  “During trial, our National Programs Manager was certified as an expert witness and provided powerful testimony about the harms abortion restrictions cause pregnant Indianans, with many being forced to travel out-of-state for basic health care.  We are grateful today’s ruling took her testimony into account and look forward to continuing the fight for justice.” 

Plaintiffs in this case – which was filed in 2019 –  include Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, All-Options, and an independent abortion provider. 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.

“Today’s ruling is a decisive victory for Indianans’ access to abortion care,” said Rupali Sharma, Senior Counsel and Director at the Lawyering Project.  “Pregnant Hoosiers, particularly those living in poverty,  face barrier after barrier to exercise a fundamental right. Today’s ruling is a pivotal step toward a future in which they can get the care they need free from assaults on their dignity.  The Lawyering Project is proud to stand alongside our partners as we continue the fight to ensure people can end a pregnancy with the respect they deserve.”