Indiana Abortion Laws May Tighten Ahead of Legislative Acts

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s abortion laws will likely be tightened even before the Legislature begins debating additional restrictions on abortion later this month.

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana conceded defeat on Friday in their fight to block two anti-abortion laws following the US Supreme Court’s decision last month to end abortion’s constitutional protections. ‘abortion. That led the state attorney general‘s office on Wednesday to ask U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in Indianapolis to sign orders that would lift her injunctions that have prevented those laws from being enforced.

The laws would ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure that the legislation calls “dismemberment abortion” and require parents to be told if a court allows a girl under 18 to have an abortion without consent. of his parents.

Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office requested in court documents filed June 27 that these laws be allowed to go into effect. The ACLU, which represents Planned Parenthood and a doctor in the lawsuits, filed responses saying the defendants would not oppose lifting the injunctions in light of the Supreme Court’s reversal of its landmark 1973 ruling. Roe v. Wade that provided federal protection for abortions.

A similar effort to lift a court order blocking a law to ban abortions based on gender, race or disability was pending Thursday before U.S. District Judge Tonya Walton Pratt, who did not order an expedited response. of the ACLU as Barker did on the others.

The ACLU declined to comment on its legal strategy regarding the laws. He said in a statement with Planned Parenthood, which operates four of Indiana’s seven licensed abortion clinics, that the state’s action “is just the beginning of attempts to further restrict access to abortion.” abortion in Indiana and we will continue to evaluate all avenues available to advocate for abortion access.” in the state.”

The state attorney general’s office has yet to seek the removal of a judge’s order blocking a law approved last year by the Republican-dominated Legislature that would require doctors to notify women undergoing medical abortions of a disputed treatment to potentially stop the abortion process. .

Rokita’s office did not immediately respond to a question Thursday about why it had not taken action to implement the law.

Indiana could have more sweeping restrictions on abortion by next month, as lawmakers are due to begin their special session on July 25.

Republican legislative leaders said lawmakers “will take steps to further protect lives,” but have yet to release details on whether they would seek a full ban or allow exceptions, such as in cases of rape, murder, or rape. incest or to protect the woman’s life.

Democrats have criticized Republicans for delaying the special session from early Wednesday set by GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb and holding private meetings to discuss provisions of the anti-abortion bill.

“In fact, we should be dedicating our time to preparing, to strengthening our safety net before we start cutting access to abortion care in this state,” said Democratic Senator Shelli Yoder of Bloomington.

This story is by Tom Davies of The Associated Press.