Two health care providers and an abortion provider sued the state of Indiana Thursday in an attempt to strike down its laws regulating abortion provision.
Whole Women’s Health Alliance, All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center and Dr. Jeffrey Glazer filed their lawsuit in Indiana’s southern district, seeking to strike down Indiana’s restrictions on abortion. Indiana law states that only physicians can perform abortions, that women must receive counseling at least 18 hours prior to their abortion and that one parent must provide written consent if the patient is under 18 years old. The state also requires all abortions after the first trimester be performed in a hospital or licensed surgical center.
“Indiana’s laws have severely limited the availability and accessibility of abortion care, driven up the costs of providing and receiving abortion care, and made providing and receiving abortion care more and more difficult, sometimes prohibitively so,” the lawsuit alleges, according to The Indianapolis Star. “States cannot heap burdens on people seeking abortion care without valid reason. The desire to punish or stigmatize people for their reproductive choices is not a valid reason under the Constitution.”
All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center Director Shelly Dodson explained that Indiana’s laws should not require its citizens to travel out of state for second-trimester abortions and that the requirements to do so often disenfranchise minority community members. “We see that the brunt of Indiana’s anti-abortion laws really disproportionately impact Hoosiers who already face significant barriers to accessing the health care they need and deserve,” she told the newspaper.
Glazer, a plaintiff in the suit, is facing 11 complaints alleging that he failed to report abortions of underage patients including a failure to notify the Indiana Department of Child Services of an abortion on a 12-year-old girl. (RELATED: Pro-Life Group Calls Out Doctors For Covering Up Sex Abuse)
Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter said he’s not shocked the health providers sued the state given that “the abortion industry has never found an abortion law it likes, even when the laws protect women’s health and safety,” the IndyStar reported.
“Indiana is ground zero in the fight to protect women and unborn children,” Fichter said. “We are confident Indiana’s elected officials will remain steadfast in their defense of women and children and swiftly and strongly fight WWHA’s lawsuit.” (RELATED: Abortion Groups Seek To Knock Down Virginia Restrictions With Lawsuit)
Whole Women’s Health and a number of abortion groups also sued the state of Virginia Wednesday because they are unhappy that women face a law requiring them to receive an ultrasound and wait 24 hours before aborting.
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