Indiana abortion reporting law takes effect after 3 years

Action by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals this week followed a 2-1 ruling by a court panel in August upholding the law, which had been blocked by a judge shortly after it was approved by the Republican-dominated Indiana Legislature in 2018.

Posted: Oct 29, 2021 9:45 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has cleared the way for Indiana officials to start enforcing a law requiring reports from doctors if they treat women for complications arising from abortions, even though the court said the law could be struck down in the future.

Action by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals this week followed a 2-1 ruling by a court panel in August upholding the law, which had been blocked by a judge shortly after it was approved by the Republican-dominated Indiana Legislature in 2018.

The law lists 25 physical or psychological conditions — including unsuccessful abortions, infections, uterine perforations, depression and deaths — that could trigger the reporting requirement for doctors or clinics.

It makes failure to do so a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Planned Parenthood challenged the law in federal court, arguing that it was vague and would leave medical professionals uncertain in determining whether they needed to report conditions such as a patient’s anxiety or minor bleeding regardless of whether they believed it stemmed from the abortion.

The Chicago-based appeals court last week turned down Planned Parenthood’s request for the full court to reconsider the case and it issued an order Thursday allowing the law to go into effect.

The appeals court’s August decision found that the Indiana law didn’t directly inhibit a woman’s right to an abortion but recommended that the Indiana Department of Health use a “reasonable medical judgment standard” in enforcing the reporting requirements.

“It is certainly possible that Indiana may enforce this law in an arbitrary manner that offends due process, particularly in a highly controversial area like the regulation of abortion,” the majority opinion said.

Planned Parenthood, which operates abortion clinics in Indianapolis, Merrillville, Bloomington and Lafayette, is considering its options for continuing to challenge the law, said Hannah Brass Greer, a lawyer for its Indiana affiliate.

“These restrictions have a disproportionate impact on those like people of color, people who live in rural areas, young people, or those with low incomes, who already face far too many barriers to health care,” she said in a statement. “Laws like this make abortion a right in name only to the most vulnerable.”

The anti-abortion group Indiana Right to Life called the reporting requirement “long overdue.”

“It is extremely telling that abortion businesses fought to shield these complications from being reported,” Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter said. “Full compliance with the complications reporting law must be one of the many areas subject to thorough state inspections of every licensed abortion business.”

Debates on additional abortion restrictions are expected during the new Indiana legislative session that starts in January, with Republican lawmakers looking to copy a Texas law that prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks, and puts enforcement in the hands of private citizens.

Indiana’s Legislature has adopted numerous abortion restrictions over the past decade, with several later blocked by court challenges.

A judge in 2019 blocked 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 a 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1490496

Reported Deaths: 20500
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2039162521
Lake1001941500
Allen923541011
Hamilton72207547
St. Joseph64053755
Elkhart48903625
Vanderburgh47506523
Tippecanoe43182336
Johnson37906521
Hendricks35984459
Porter34277466
Madison28722537
Clark25552325
Vigo25251344
LaPorte23269307
Monroe22751244
Howard21818377
Delaware21391366
Hancock18487220
Bartholomew17860213
Kosciusko17769201
Warrick16642213
Wayne16062300
Floyd15640257
Grant15143296
Morgan14245231
Boone13388136
Noble11656140
Dearborn11560112
Henry11546201
Shelby11483150
Marshall11258167
Dubois11123152
Jackson10425104
Cass10121142
DeKalb10101129
Lawrence10082220
Huntington10016139
Gibson9415125
Montgomery9153141
Knox8942124
Harrison8874112
Whitley861871
Steuben8488104
Jasper8192114
Clinton810295
Putnam806199
Miami8032133
Jefferson7773124
Wabash7726139
Ripley7118112
Adams6595101
Daviess6455127
Scott638586
White613282
Greene5999112
Clay597573
Wells5902120
Decatur5885119
Jennings586278
Fayette5735121
Posey543448
LaGrange524197
Randolph5027129
Washington494368
Owen491499
Fountain472479
Spencer446556
Starke438686
Sullivan437465
Fulton431891
Orange420882
Jay409764
Rush403937
Carroll377549
Perry376755
Franklin375850
Vermillion352062
Parke319238
Pike316245
Tipton313774
Blackford271755
Pulaski270874
Newton231561
Brown226754
Benton215721
Crawford215131
Switzerland194214
Martin186722
Warren174821
Union165519
Ohio122616
Unassigned0739

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2439205

Reported Deaths: 31245
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2637212065
Cuyahoga2582743018
Hamilton1696091714
Montgomery1126771604
Summit1074271391
Lucas909371160
Butler80397942
Stark754911400
Lorain63313792
Warren51040475
Mahoning50162915
Lake47051605
Clermont44631429
Delaware39611212
Trumbull38910755
Medina37850419
Licking37593408
Fairfield34482334
Greene32823422
Portage31698360
Clark30769445
Richland28751423
Wood28217297
Allen24942395
Miami23274395
Muskingum22683245
Columbiana22370403
Wayne21565356
Tuscarawas19096427
Erie18282222
Ashtabula18102342
Marion17861232
Scioto17031207
Ross16556252
Pickaway15812178
Hancock15561228
Geauga15320223
Lawrence14172186
Union1359984
Huron13584182
Belmont13554247
Jefferson13090258
Sandusky12933199
Athens12126106
Knox11721198
Seneca11631200
Darke10950198
Ashland10916178
Washington10729168
Auglaize10364142
Crawford10062175
Shelby9961157
Brown9610140
Fulton9453150
Guernsey9304117
Highland9215148
Defiance9209135
Logan9114142
Clinton8950127
Mercer8816111
Madison8730106
Preble8145162
Williams8014135
Putnam7863135
Ottawa7752121
Champaign7696112
Jackson7510117
Perry725998
Coshocton7137136
Morrow706382
Fayette678287
Pike632586
Hardin6311128
Gallia605891
Adams5913124
Van Wert5877121
Henry577093
Hocking5634104
Carroll4877100
Wyandot487590
Holmes4787161
Paulding409064
Meigs380473
Monroe303368
Noble285051
Harrison284461
Morgan280348
Vinton245145
Unassigned08
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
17° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 10°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
15° wxIcon
Hi: 23° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 15°
Huntington
Mostly Cloudy
11° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 11°
Decatur
Mostly Cloudy
17° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 10°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
13° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 5°
The colder air is expected to linger into the weekend and there is a small chance of light snow.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events