Indiana law banning most abortions takes effect


The law passed over the summer in a special session, when Indiana became the first state to pass a restrictive abortion law after the court ruling.

The law provides exceptions to save the woman’s life, prevent any serious risk to the woman’s health and for fatal fetal anomalies, up to 20 weeks after fertilization. It also allows exceptions for certain abortions if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest during the first 10 weeks after fertilization.

By law, abortion clinics are no longer state-licensed facilities and cannot offer abortions. The law now requires that all abortions be performed in a licensed hospital or in an outpatient day surgery center majority owned by a licensed hospital.

Abortion providers who break the law face a criminal penalty of up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Medical abortion is already banned in the state after eight weeks of post-fertilization age.

Abortion providers and a nonprofit that operates a pregnancy resource center in the state filed a lawsuit last month, seeking to block the ban from taking effect.

They argue that the law “will infringe Hoosiers’ right to privacy, violate Indiana’s Guarantee of Equal Privileges and Immunities, and violate the Regular Law Clause of the Constitution by its unconstitutionally vague language.”

“Hoosiers who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing pregnancy complications that could seriously and permanently harm their health – but who do not meet the limited serious health risk exception set out in SB 1 – will be forced to remain pregnant and to suffer serious and life-threatening suffering has long harmed their health,” they said in their lawsuit filed in Monroe Circuit Court on Aug. 31.

“Even patients whose pregnancies should be eligible for the narrow health or life exception of SB 1 may still be unable to obtain an abortion because doctors will credibly fear that they will be prosecuted for the exercise of their professional medical judgment if government officials disagree with their assessment of a patient’s condition.”

A hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for Monday. The plaintiffs also asked the court for a temporary restraining order.


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