Indiana Abortion Law Ruling

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): A federal judge has struck down portions of Indiana laws that regulate abortion clinics.


In a preliminary ruling, U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson said that part of the law that attempts to regulate Planned Parenthood centers that provide non-surgical abortions more strictly than regular doctor's offices who provide the same services, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

“The law stated that abortion clinics had to meet surgical abortion clinic standards, even though the Lafayette clinic does not perform surgical abortions,” said Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, which represented Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky in their challenge of the law.

The judge also ruled as unconstitutional a second law that allowed the state Board of Health to waive the “surgical readiness” requirement for ordinary doctor's offices that provided drugs that terminate pregnancies if the board found the regulations were not necessary to protect the health and safety of patients, “but the law denied that right with regard to abortion clinics,” Falk said. Judge Magnus-Stinson wrote the law was “irrational” and said the “ambiguity in the statute leads to arbitrary distinctions and unequal regulatory treatment with no rational basis.”

This is not a final ruling from the judge. Falk says since they had asked the laws to be struck down on grounds other than those cited by Magnus-Stinson means he will have to get with the state to see how the case should proceed.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller's office says it is reviewing the ruling before deciding whether to appeal.