Whole Woman’s Health Alliance v. Hill (Indiana)
(S.D. Ind. No. 1:18-CV-1904)
In recent years, Indiana politicians have mounted a relentless attack on the rights and dignity of people seeking abortion care, enacting an increasingly complex web of restrictive laws that have dramatically reduced the availability of abortion care in the State. At the time of filing, Indiana had only six abortion clinics to serve more than 1.3 million women of reproductive age, and abortion was effectively unavailable after the first trimester of pregnancy. Due to the limited number of providers, many patients must endure long waits to get an appointment at a distant clinic. State law requires those who make it to a clinic to receive biased “counseling” that includes medically inaccurate information and then wait an additional eighteen hours (often longer in practice) before finally obtaining an abortion. Because of Indiana’s burdensome restrictions, a large number of Hoosiers travel out of state to access abortion care. Of course, not everyone has the resources to do that.
This case challenges five categories of Indiana abortion restrictions: (1) targeted regulation of abortion provider (TRAP) laws; (2) laws that deny abortion patients the benefits of scientific progress; (3) biased counseling and waiting-period laws; (4) laws that burden pregnant teenagers who lack parental support; and (5) laws that criminalize abortion care. The lawsuit seeks to improve abortion access in Indiana and enable people to exercise their constitutional right to abortion without sacrificing their dignity or well-being.
In May 2019, the district court entered a preliminary injunction authorizing Whole Woman’s Health Alliance to open a new abortion clinic in South Bend, Indiana, despite the State’s unjustified refusal to grant it a required license. The preliminary injunction enables the clinic to provide medication abortion in a region of Indiana otherwise lacking abortion providers while the litigation runs its course.
Defendants: Attorney General of the State of Indiana, in his official capacity; Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health, in her official capacity; President of the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana, in his official capacity; St. Joseph County Prosecutor, in his official capacity
Co-counsel: Paul M. Eckles; Mollie M. Kornreich; Michael Leo Pomeranz; Kathrine D. Jack
Timeline and Key Documents:
June 21, 2018 Plaintiffs file Complaint
August 24, 2018 District court enters Case Management Plan
March 28, 2019 District court enters Order denying Defendants’ motion to dismiss
May 1, 2019 Defendants file Answer to Complaint
May 31, 2019 District court enters Preliminary Injunction
June 2, 2019 Defendants file Notice of Appeal
June 7, 2019 District court enters Order denying Defendants’ motion to stay the injunction pending appeal
June 21, 2019 Court of appeals enters Order modifying the Preliminary Injunction
July 11, 2019 Court of appeals hears oral argument
August 22, 2019 Court of appeals issues Opinion affirming the Preliminary Injunction as modified
WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH ALLIANCE V. HILL—SEVENTH CIRCUIT BRIEFS 18.104.22.168
Brief for Appellants (Attorney General of the State of Indiana, et al.)
Brief for Appellee (Whole Woman’s Health Alliance)