Planned Parenthood, others file lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 1

INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, Women’s Med Group Professional Corporation, All-Options, Inc. and Dr. Amy Caldwell filed a lawsuit for challenge Senate Bill 1, signed into law last month by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

The bill, which goes into effect September 15, 2022, will limit abortions in Indiana. The only exceptions that will allow abortion are the life of the mother, rape and incest.

The bill was the first new abortion ban passed by a state legislature following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Just weeks after the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal constitutional right to abortion, Indiana lawmakers gathered for a special session to ban and eliminate access to abortion in the State – rushing the passage of Senate Bill 1 in two weeks.

The law restricts abortion, with criminal penalties for providers who violate the law.

The lawsuit argues that the abortion ban violates both the Indiana Constitution’s right to privacy and equal privilege protections.

Along with the announcement, several of the parties involved released statements.

“Today, we demand that the court do what Indiana lawmakers failed to do: protect the constitutional rights of Hoosiers. Unless this ban is blocked, abortion patients will not be able to access timely and potentially life-saving care in their own communities.The abortion ban that the Legislature rushed through in a special session – almost immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade – is both dangerous and incredibly cruel. We demand more for patients and providers, and we will continue to fight for everyone’s right to make their own decisions about their bodies, lives and futures.

Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America

“The health and well-being of Hoosiers depends on safe and legal access to abortion care. This ban is dangerous and cruel. It will directly harm the people of Indiana and have ripple effects on the our entire healthcare system, disproportionately harming our communities of color due to centuries of systemically racist policies – increasing the maternal mortality rate for black women by 33% and 21% at all levels. Abortion should only be made between a pregnant person and their health care provider, and never by politicians without medical knowledge or expertise. Every person has the right to access basic care. We will never stop fight for a person’s ability to control their own life and future.

Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky:

“Since its inception, the Indiana Constitution has protected the right to privacy. This right implicitly implies the right of a woman to make medical decisions regarding her own reproductive health. This abortion ban will force Hoosiers to carry pregnancies against their will, resulting in life-changing consequences and serious health risks. Deeply private, personal and unique decisions regarding reproductive health should be made by women in consultation with their physicians. Whether or not Indiana elected officials personally agree with abortion access, it is not up to the government to make those decisions for Hoosiers.

Ken Falk, General Counsel, ACLU of Indiana:

On Thursday, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita issued the following statement:

“The left does not support a culture of life, and all of the advancements and protections provided by the pro-life movement. The Hoosiers respect and value all lives, including the lives of unborn children. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood push back every time there is a victory for freedom, and my office will not back down in the fight to protect our future generations.The Indiana Constitution says nothing about guaranteeing the right to abortion, that the state prohibited before, during, and after adoption of the constitution The text, history, and structure of our Constitution precludes any serious argument that abortion is a fundamental right in our state.

Norman D. Briggs