Whole Woman’s Health Alliance v. Rokita (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. Indiana has seven abortion clinics to serve nearly 1.3 million women of reproductive age, and abortion is 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. 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.
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.
The following categories of Indiana abortion restrictions are moving forward to trial: (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; and (4) laws that criminalize abortion care.
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
Mollie M. Kornreich; Michael Powell; Kathrine D. Jack
Timeline and Key Documents:
June 21, 2018
August 24, 2018
District court enters Case Management Plan
March 28, 2019
April 22, 2019
District court hears oral argument on Plaintiffs’ motion for Preliminary Injunction
May 1, 2019
May 31, 2019
June 2, 2019
June 7, 2019
June 21, 2019
July 11, 2019
Court of appeals hears oral argument
August 22, 2019
December 9, 2019
February 20, 2020
June 11, 2020
July 2, 2020
Supreme Court denies Petition for Writ of Certiorari
October 9, 2020
WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH ALLIANCE V. ROKITA—SEVENTH CIRCUIT BRIEFS
March 11, 2021
March 19, 2021
Media Advisory: ICYMI: Indiana Health Care Providers, Patients and Pregnancy Resource Center Detail Harms Caused by Abortion Restrictions; State Relies on Discredited, Anti-Abortion Activists in Defense