Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue Ind. over new abortion law

Aric Chokey
Associated Press

Indianapolis — The state of Indiana is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky over the abortion law recently signed by Gov. Mike Pence.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, says the law is unconstitutional and challenges several provisions, including one that bans abortions sought because of genetic abnormalities and another that mandates an aborted fetus be buried or cremated.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to pause the law’s enforcement, which goes into effect July 1, until the case is resolved.

“The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly stressed that a woman, not the state, is to determine whether or not to obtain an abortion,” ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk said. “The State of Indiana’s attempt to invade a woman’s privacy and to control her decision in this regard is unprecedented and unconstitutional.”

The lawsuit says the new law puts an “undue burden on women’s right to choose an abortion” since it bans them in some circumstances, even when the fetus won’t survive. The suit also says women have a right to choose an abortion in the first trimester “for any reason.”

Planned Parenthood does not ask patients why they are seeking an abortion, but the new law would require physicians to report if a fetal anomaly had been present prior to the abortion. The lawsuit says that would put doctors at risk of being reprimanded.

The law also requires fetuses to be buried or cremated, which the lawsuit called a costly requirement that does not exist for the disposal of medical waste for other types of operations.

The state Office of the Attorney General and state Sen. Travis Holdman, the Markle Republican who sponsored the bill, were not immediately available for comment.