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Groups sue over new state law that toughens abortion rules

April 23, 2018

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and two other plaintiffs on Monday sued to block a new Indiana law that requires health care providers to submit a report to the state when a woman who has had an abortion seeks treatment for a wide range of health conditions.

The measure—which also imposes inspection requirements on abortion clinics that are not imposed on outpatient settings or hospitals—is a "cruel intimidation tactic," Planned Parenthood and co-plaintiffs the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Indiana said in a press release.

The measure, SEA 340, was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb in March.

“Once again Indiana politicians are barging into the exam room with irrational demands and intrusive requirements,” ACLU of Indiana Executive Director Jane Henegar said in a statement.

A spokesman for the Indiana Attorney General's Office, which defends lawsuits filed against the state, said: "We will carefully review this lawsuit and consider what next steps, if any, to pursue in this case."

The suit asserts that the law violates due process and equal protection by singling out abortion procedures and requiring invasive reporting that has nothing to do with protecting women’s health.

The plaintiffs say abortions are one of the safest types of medical procedures—more than 99 percent safe, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ken Falk, the ACLU of Indiana's legal director, said in a statement: “Indiana is burdening abortion patients and their medical providers with reporting requirements that make little sense. These requirements are unconstitutional and need to be struck down."

Several abortion-related measures passed by the General Assembly in recent years have faced legal challenges.

Last week, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down provisions of an Indiana law that prohibited a woman from terminating her pregnancy because of the gender, race or disability of the fetus.

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