Federal judge blocks Indiana ‘abortion reversal’ law

A federal judge has blocked a new Indiana law that would require doctors to tell women undergoing drug-induced abortions about disputed treatments to potentially stop the abortion procedure.

Indianapolis — A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a new Indiana law that would require doctors to tell women undergoing drug-induced abortions about controversial treatments to potentially stop the abortion procedure.

The decision came just before the so-called abortion reversal law adopted by Indiana’s Republican-dominated legislature went into effect Thursday. A temporary injunction issued by US District Judge James Patrick Hanlon in Indianapolis overturns the law, while the lawsuit challenging it makes its way through court.

The lawsuit, filed by abortion-rights groups, argues that the law’s requirement would confuse patients and increase the stigma associated with obtaining abortions, as well as forcing doctors to give what they believe to patients with questionable medical information. .

Republican legislators argued that the requirement would ensure that a woman had information on how to prevent drug-induced abortion if she changes her mind after taking the first of the two drugs used in the procedure and the second instead. Takes medicine. GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb signed it into law in April.

Six states already have similar requirements, while North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee have blocked such laws with legal challenges, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.

The Indiana lawsuit maintains a requirement to wrongly single out doctors who provide abortion drugs and their patients. Plaintiffs include Planned Parenthood, which operates abortion clinics in Indianapolis, Merrillville, Bloomington and Lafayette, and the group that operates other clinics in Indianapolis and South Bend.

Medical groups maintain the abortion pill as a “reversible” procedure is not backed by science and little is known about its safety.

Dr. Jorge Delgado, a San Diego-area physician who is the founder of the abortion pill reversal group, testified before Hanlon that the treatment was safe and cited “50 to 75 successful reversals” that he oversaw directly. .

The Indiana Attorney General’s office argued that the Legislature was acting to protect “fetal life and women’s health.”

“Patients have the right not to take a second pill and to choose alternative options to save their pregnancy,” the office said in a court filing. “Refusal to give patients information about options as to whether they want to continue with their pregnancies harms women by depriving them of that option.”

According to the most recent data from the state health department, drug abortions accounted for 44% of the nearly 7,600 abortions performed in Indiana in 2019.

The Indiana law is part of a wave of legislation in several Republican-led states to prohibit drug abortion and ban telemedicine abortion.

Indiana’s Legislature has adopted several abortion restrictions over the past decade, many of which have since been blocked by challenges in federal court.

Amid those challenges, in 2019 a federal judge ruled against the state’s ban on a common second trimester abortion procedure by legislation called “disruptive abortion.”

In 2019 the US Supreme Court also dismissed an appeal from a lower court ruling in Indiana that had stayed the state’s ban on abortion based on gender, race, or disability. However, it retained a part of the 2016 law signed by the then government. Mike Pence requires a fetus to be buried or cremated after a miscarriage.


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