Last Tuesday, a federal court blocked a targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) law that could have shut down the only healthcare facility in Indiana providing RU-486, or mifepristone, the medication abortion drug. The blocked law would have unnecessarily required the Planned Parenthood of Lafayette to adhere to the same licensing standards as facilities that perform surgical abortions, even though the clinic does not perform surgical procedures.
“Imposing requirements for such things as surgical scrub facilities and surgical recovery rooms when there is no surgical procedure ever performed at the clinic is not only unreasonable, it is utterly irrational,” the Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky wrote in their filed complaint.
The federal court ruled in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, confirming that the law violated the Planned Parenthood clinic’s equal protection rights by targeting it for regulation. However, the judge rejected the portion of the lawsuit that claimed the law was unconstitutional because it was not related to patient safety or care.
While this clinic will now stay open, reports have shown that over 50 abortion clinics across the United States have closed since 2010 because of a coordinated effort in state legislatures to regulate abortion clinics out of existence.
Indiana now has 30 days to decide if it will appeal the judge’s ruling.
Media Resources: RH Reality Check 11/27/13; Feminist News 8/23/13; Bloomberg Business Week 8/22/12; Feminist News 8/26/13