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ACLU: Invalidation of Indiana Abortion Restriction Should Have Been Predictable

Planned Parenthood likely to sue to block another abortion law signed last month

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Attorneys for Planned Parenthood say the latest ruling that an Indiana abortion law is unconstitutional should have been predictable.

A lower-court judge had already thrown out the attempt to ban women from aborting because the fetus has a disability or isn't the sex or race they wanted. A unanimous Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling.

American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana attorney Ken Falk says the U-S Supreme Court made clear as recently as two years ago that it's unconstitutional to block women from getting an abortion. He says a law suggesting it would be okay to block women in some cases was doomed to fail. If the court allowed states to exclude abortions for one reason, there would soon be so many restrictions as to make the right meaningless.

The court also rejected a part of the law setting requirements for the disposal of fetal remains, whether from abortion or miscarriage -- but that ruling was 2-1, with Judge Daniel Manion voting to uphold it. Falk says unlike the attempt to restrict abortions, that issue has never been to the Supreme Court. But he says the majority properly reasoned the law impermissibly classifies fetal life as human life, running counter to a long line of abortion decisions.

Falk is hinting he'll also sue to block this year's abortion law, which orders annual inspections of abortion clinics and reporting of any complications. If such a suit succeeds, it'd be the third straight year the legislature has passed abortion regulations only to have the law struck down.only to have the law struck down.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky CEO Christie Gillespie and ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)


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