Abortion rights groups ask federal judge to block Indiana ‘abortion reversal’ law

The lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis argues that the requirement would confuse patients and increase the stigma associated with obtaining an abortion, while also forcing doctors to give what they regard as dubious medical information.

Posted: May 18, 2021 4:29 PM
Updated: May 20, 2021 11:27 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Abortion rights groups asked a federal judge on Tuesday to block a new Indiana law that would require doctors to tell women undergoing drug-induced abortions about a disputed treatment for potentially stopping the abortion process.

The lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis argues that the requirement would confuse patients and increase the stigma associated with obtaining an abortion, while also forcing doctors to give what they regard as dubious medical information.

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The groups want a judge to block the new so-called “abortion reversal” law from taking effect as scheduled in July.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb last month signed the bill, which GOP legislators argued would ensure that a woman had information about halting a medication-induced abortion if she changes her mind after taking the first of the two drugs used in the procedure and takes another drug instead.

The lawsuit maintains the requirement wrongly singles out doctors providing abortion drugs and their patients.

“No other healthcare providers are required to inform their patients about experimental medical interventions, the safety and efficacy of which are wholly unsupported by reliable scientific evidence, and no other patients are required to receive such information as a condition of treatment,” the lawsuit said.

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

The Indiana lawsuit also challenges a new state law banning doctors from providing abortion services by virtual visits with patients.

Republican state Attorney General Todd Rokita said his office would seek to have the law take effect.

“Protecting the God-given right to life, especially for the unborn who can’t protect themselves, is my highest priority,” Rokita said in a statement.

Medication abortions accounted for 44% of the roughly 7,600 abortions performed in Indiana in 2019, according to the state health department’s most recent statistics.

The Indiana law is part of a wave of legislation being pushed in several Republican-led states to further restrict medication abortion and ban telemedicine abortions.

Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature has adopted numerous abortion restrictions over the past decade, with several of them later blocked by challenges in federal court.

Among those challenges, a federal judge in 2019 ruled against the state’s ban on a common second-trimester abortion procedure that the legislation called “dismemberment abortion.”

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2019 also rejected Indiana’s appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked the state’s ban on abortion based on gender, race or disability.

However, it upheld a portion of the 2016 law signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains after an abortion.

Republican state Rep. Peggy Mayfield of Martinsville, who sponsored this year’s bill said she wasn’t concerned about the potential cost of a lawsuit.

“I think the priority is on saving babies and not whether or not someone wants to take us to court, because we win some and we lose some,” Mayfield said during a committee hearing.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1380370

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1534461574
Cuyahoga1354332341
Hamilton984041326
Montgomery677001161
Summit566391051
Lucas51349869
Butler47858663
Stark42048983
Lorain31922539
Warren30328338
Mahoning27315643
Clermont25897297
Lake24746422
Delaware22501147
Licking20701246
Fairfield20658223
Greene20527275
Trumbull20127516
Medina20006290
Clark18086332
Richland16602236
Portage16305231
Wood15869209
Allen14257261
Miami13963261
Muskingum12858155
Wayne12126244
Columbiana11896242
Tuscarawas11103271
Marion10865150
Pickaway10580129
Scioto10477127
Erie9822171
Ross9566177
Lawrence8886125
Hancock8567143
Ashtabula8423187
Geauga8226156
Belmont8221188
Jefferson7635175
Huron7507131
Union740751
Washington7334126
Athens705965
Sandusky6925135
Darke6853137
Knox6762122
Seneca6496137
Ashland6035115
Auglaize593188
Shelby5796104
Brown572972
Mercer563690
Defiance5538101
Crawford5530117
Madison549371
Highland548082
Fulton539583
Clinton532081
Logan516987
Preble5058111
Putnam4876107
Guernsey480664
Williams466482
Perry459054
Champaign452264
Ottawa441384
Jackson432963
Pike397045
Morrow393851
Coshocton386669
Fayette381753
Adams366875
Hardin363970
Gallia352858
Holmes3297111
Henry328869
Van Wert318871
Hocking308070
Wyandot284558
Carroll265452
Paulding245143
Meigs220242
Monroe191949
Noble172942
Morgan169429
Harrison160041
Vinton140619
Unassigned05
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