IN judge blocks law requiring ultrasounds before abortion

Caroline Beck
April 6, 2017

Prior to the 2016 IN anti-abortion law, women could get an ultrasound IN the same visit as their abortion. After so many assaults on freedom to choose this year, including OH banning abortions after 24 weeks, this is def a glimmer of hope for pro-choicers!

A memo sent to the parties involved Tuesday by Judge Howard Sachs of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri said he's also made a decision to block a law requiring that abortion providers meet the same regulations as outpatient surgical centers.

Pro-choice advocates are celebrating a "major victory" for a woman's right to choose Monday after a federal judge blocked a portion of an IN abortion regulation that would have required women to get an ultrasound at least 18 hours before an abortion procedure.

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood of IN and Kentucky sued the state last July on the grounds that the law could prevent some women from having access to abortions.

Her ruling says those women face "clearly undue" burdens, including lengthy travel to one of only six Planned Parenthood health centers that can offer an informed-consent ultrasound appointment.

While the CMP videos propelled the nationwide interest in defunding Planned Parenthood, Tom McClusky, vice president of government affairs at the March for Life, told the Register that their effect can not be taken for granted.

The Planned Parenthood affiliates behind the Missouri lawsuit said in a statement Wednesday they were "strongly encouraged" by Sachs' intention against what they called illegal "and medically unnecessary abortion restrictions in Missouri". So it looks like the ultrasound doesn't make much of a difference after all! Back in the spring of 2016, she blocked a law that would have banned abortions based only on genetic abnormalities.

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The ultrasound mandate was in a larger package of abortion restrictions signed into law past year by Vice President Mike Pence, who was serving as governor of the state at the time.

Friday, the Citizens for a Pro-life Society picketed Planned Parenthood of Kalamazoo alleging that the abortion was performed at the clinic last summer and that it resulted in the death of the 24-year-old Battle Creek woman.

A pro-life leader in IN, disappointed by a ruling against the state's ultrasound law, says the judge issuing the ruling failed to recognize a legitimate alternative to what the judge considers a problem with the law.

Mike Fichter, the CEO and president of the anti-abortion group Indiana Right to life, urged Hill to appeal Pratt's ruling and to continue to "fight for Indiana's constitutional right to put a time requirement on our state's ultrasound law".

"I'm hoping the state gives up and we agree that this become final", said Ken Falk, legal director of ACLU Indiana, according to CBS News.

"We wish Indiana's politicians would leave the practice of medicine to doctors and health care providers rather than interfering yet again", Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of IN and Kentucky, said IN an ACLU press release at the time.

"Defund Planned Parenthood" sign on display at 2017 March for Life.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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