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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.

Plaintiffs:

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:

Mollie M. Kornreich; Michael Powell; 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

April 22, 2019

District court hears oral argument on Plaintiffs’ motion for Preliminary Injunction

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 denying motion to stay the injunction pending appeal and 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

December 9, 2019

Defendants file Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the Supreme Court challenging Preliminary Injunction

February 20, 2020

Plaintiffs file Brief in Opposition to Petition for Writ of Certiorari

June 11, 2020

District Court grants Order continuing bench trial to March 15, 2021

July 2, 2020

Supreme Court denies Petition for Writ of Certiorari

October 9, 2020

District Court enters Order granting in part and denying in part Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment

WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH ALLIANCE V. ROKITA—SEVENTH CIRCUIT BRIEFS

Brief for Appellants (Attorney General of the State of Indiana, et al.)

Amicus Curiae Brief for State of Texas, et al.

Brief for Appellee (Whole Woman’s Health Alliance)

Amicus Curiae Brief for State of Illinois, et al.

Related Media

March 11, 2021

Press Release: Trial Begins Next Week in Legal Challenge to Multiple Indiana Abortion Restrictions

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

June 17, 2021

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

June 28, 2021

Media Advisory: ICYMI: Indiana Health Care Providers, Pregnancy Resource Center Recount Harms Caused by Abortion Restrictions