The state of Indiana has requested the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court injunction that blocked a law requiring women receiving an abortion to also receive an ultrasound at least 18 hours prior to the procedure, which adds a waiting period and two different appointments to receive an abortion.
The Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky along with the ACLU of Indiana have both filed suit, saying that the law places “an undue burden on the patient.” Judge Tanya Walton Pratt had initially blocked the law in 2017 since there was no evidence that it would “improve either fetal life or women’s mental health.”
The ACLU of Indiana says that this law specifically targets low-income women who would not be able to afford to make the trips for both the ultrasound and the abortion due to transportation obstacles, childcare, or conflict with their work schedule. They shared the story of one woman who, while the law was in effect, could not go through with her abortion due to the added burdens.
Currently, a woman in Indiana seeking an abortion can receive an ultrasound at the same appointment.
In November, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill appealed to the Supreme Court to review a different lawsuit against an Indiana anti-abortion law that restricts abortion access as well as enforces regulations on how to dispose fetal tissue. This could be the first case on abortion restrictions that the Supreme Court rules on since Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and it potentially could allow states across the country to implement similar regulations.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky filed the initial suit, which led to an injunction and then a permanent block. The law gives anti-discrimination protections to fetuses, which would prevent a person from receiving an abortion based on the fetus’s sex, race, or disability, preventing an abortion in the case of fetal abnormality. The law also states that fetal remains must be cremated or buried, even though regulations such as this have been previously struck down in federal courts.
Media Resources: IndyStar 2/4/19; Feminsit Newswire 11/13/19