Judge: $180,000 legal bill due after abortion law challenged

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A federal judge has ordered the attorney general’s office to pay the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana more than $180,000 in legal fees for successfully challenging the 2016 genetic abnormality abortion law enacted by now-Vice President Mike Pence.

As an incentive to challenge potentially unconstitutional statutes, federal law allows judges to require the government to pay a plaintiff’s legal fees.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ordered a payment total of $182,499 to the ACLU of Indiana for its legal work on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.

Pratt blocked the Indiana law after Planned Parenthood requested a preliminary injunction arguing the law was unconstitutional and violated women’s privacy rights.

The law would have banned abortions sought because of a fetus’ genetic abnormalities, genetic diseases or physical deformities. The statute also prohibited women from obtaining an abortion due to the gender, race, color, national origin or ancestry of the fetus.

But Pratt ruled that established law allows women to have an abortion for any reason prior to fetal viability.

The federal trial court in Indianapolis, federal appeals court in Chicago, and the U.S. Supreme Court all refused to allow a key provision of the law to take effect, The Northwest Times reported.

The nation’s high court, however, did permit a separate provision of the law requiring abortion providers to pay to bury or cremate any embryonic or fetal remains in their possession.

“In light of the fetal remains discovered in Illinois, we are especially grateful that the Supreme Court reversed the district court’s earlier decision that purported to invalidate Indiana’s fetal-remains law,” according to a statement from the Indiana Attorney General’s office.

According to an analysis of state spending records by The Times, Indiana paid more than $3 million to the ACLU between 2011 and 2020 following the group’s successful challenges to unconstitutional state laws.

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2 thoughts on “Judge: $180,000 legal bill due after abortion law challenged

  1. Quote: Indiana paid more than $3 million to the ACLU between 2011 and 2020 following the group’s successful challenges to unconstitutional state laws.

    How about a little more accuracy: Indiana paid more than $3 million to the ACLU between 2011 and 2020 following the group’s challenges to state laws adjudicated to be unconstitutional.

    Such a terrible waste of taxpayer money, spending it because the EVIL (‘sorry, no boldface or italics available for comments) ACLU wants to promote killing the most innocent among us….not to mention contributing to the well-documented emotional and relationship problems of MOST post-abortive women in their later years as they come to the realization of what they did; a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave….

    1. I am afraid your attempt at a headline rewrite neither changes the facts of what happened, nor makes the end result for Indiana any better.

      What IS a terrible wast of taxpayer money is the Indiana General Assembly’s insistence on trying to pass laws that state legal counsel and other experts have already advised them will likely be successfully challenged in court. If people are unhappy with what the Constitution authorizes, the proper course of action is to amend the Constitution, which has been done multiple times. Of course, you have to popular support in order to pass a Constitutional amendment, so perhaps it says something as to why it has not been done for this issue.

      Also, you should realize the ACLU has successfully challenged Indiana on others laws having nothing to do with abortion.

      In any event, I suppose the ACLU has many years to look forward to of collecting millions of dollars from Hoosier taxpayers who seem happy to be entangled in a web weaved by the legislators they keep putting in the General Assembly.