Indian’s abortion clinics filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to block the state’s ban on abortion before the law goes into effect in roughly two weeks.
Currently, the abortion law in Indiana provides for “limited exceptions” but the lawsuit filed in Monroe county alleges that the incoming law will “strip away” the rights of those seeking abortion care. The lawsuit seeks a judge’s intervention in blocking the law from going into effect from September 15 saying that it will “violate Indiana’s guarantee of equal privileges and immunities, and includes unconstitutionally vague language.”
Indiana’s legislature is Republican-dominated and has been instrumental in ensuring tighter abortion restriction in the state. The decision was made over the course of a two-week special legislative session which ended earlier this month on August 5.
With the decision to implement tighter restrictions, Indiana is set to become the first state to change its abortion laws following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June earlier this year.
Indiana’s most well-known anti-abortion group has argued that that the state’s Constitution protects life as an “inalienable right”. CEO of Indiana Right to Life, Mike Fitcher told Politico that they are confident that the state “will prevail” and that they “pray” the September 15 law will stop the “indiscriminate killing of unborn children”.
Currently, Indiana’s abortion exceptions are in the case of rape and incest, before 10 weeks since fertilization, cases where the life of the mother is in danger and if the unborn fetus has been diagnosed with a lethal anomaly.
On the other hand, Indiana University law professor Jennifer Drobac told Politico that the argument that the state’s constitution prevented the legislature from making some medical services restricted to some residents was strong.
The new law which will go into effect from September 15 if not delayed will make it so that abortion can only legally be conducted in hospitals and outpatient center run by hospitals. This means that all the abortion clinics in the state are set to lose their license. Additionally, any doctor’s found to be violating the new law would lose their state doctor’s license and are likely to face criminal charges punishable by up to six years in prison.