US Court of Appeals restores several Indiana abortion restrictions while considering full appeal

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel issued a 2-1 ruling Wednesday that allows Indiana to continue enforcing those laws while the court considers a full appeal of the case.

Posted: Sep 9, 2021 3:28 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s ban on telemedicine consultations between doctors and women seeking abortions and several other abortion restrictions are back in force after a federal appeals court set aside a judge’s ruling that they were unconstitutional.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel issued a 2-1 ruling Wednesday that allows Indiana to continue enforcing those laws while the court considers a full appeal of the case.

It said District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s ruling last month was inconsistent with previous Supreme Court decisions and reinstated Indiana’s telemedicine ban, along with state laws requiring in-person examinations by a doctor before medication-induced abortions can be performed and a prohibition on second-trimester abortions outside of hospitals or surgery centers.

“Plaintiffs contend, and the district court found, that developments in videoconferencing make it possible to dispense with in-person meetings, that improvements in medicine make the use of hospitals or surgical centers unnecessary, and that nurses are competent to approve and monitor medication-induced abortions,” the ruling said. “The district court concluded that these findings permit it to depart from the holdings of earlier cases. Yet the Supreme Court insists that it alone has the authority to modify its precedents.”

Barker, who was nominated as a federal judge in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, had ruled that the state didn’t have the constitutional authority to restrict the use of virtual telemedicine services to women seeking medication abortions without providing evidence that it benefitted the women’s health.

The Indiana attorney general’s office argued in its appeal of Barker’s decision that “the Constitution does not require state legislatures constantly to update state statutes to keep up with ever-advancing technologies just because those technologies may make abortion more convenient.”

Drug-induced abortions made up 55% of those performed in Indiana last year, according to the state health department.

Appeals court Judge Diane Wood wrote in her dissent that the “benefits of Indiana’s law are illusory, while its burdens are very tangible.”

Wood wrote that the laws” impose an undue burden on the set of women for whom the law makes a difference — Indiana women of limited means who cannot leave their jobs, pay for extensive travel, obtain access to cars, and potentially go out of state, simply to obtain a lawful abortion.”

The Indiana abortion restrictions were challenged in a broad lawsuit filed by Virginia-based Whole Woman’s Health Alliance and other abortion rights supporters in 2018 as Whole Woman’s Health fought the state’s denial of a license to open an abortion clinic in South Bend.

Rupali Sharma, a lawyer for Whole Woman’s Health, said the court’s decision was being reviewed and all legal options were under consideration.

The state’s Republican attorney general, Todd Rokita, hailed the appeals court decision.

“We would expect our commonsense laws to be upheld as the appeal continues,” Rokita said in a statement. “Protecting the culture of life is the top priority of my office, and we will continue fighting for every life alongside our legislative partners.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 926604

Reported Deaths: 15083
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1262201958
Lake626901087
Allen52772747
Hamilton43283445
St. Joseph41475584
Elkhart33129488
Vanderburgh29927439
Tippecanoe26589247
Johnson23267415
Hendricks21902340
Porter21473341
Clark17150224
Madison17065379
Vigo15815273
Monroe14298190
LaPorte14108237
Delaware13771219
Howard13635262
Kosciusko11232134
Hancock10637160
Warrick10523176
Bartholomew10341167
Floyd10200202
Wayne9690218
Grant8939196
Morgan8734158
Boone8299109
Dubois7596123
Henry7469128
Dearborn745187
Noble7294101
Marshall7237128
Cass7097117
Lawrence6862150
Shelby6457107
Jackson643981
Gibson6036106
Harrison595585
Huntington591891
Montgomery5706102
DeKalb563591
Knox537599
Miami531983
Clinton527164
Putnam525367
Whitley516251
Steuben486367
Wabash477492
Jasper471961
Jefferson461991
Ripley444175
Adams439365
Daviess4064106
Scott394963
White386257
Clay382356
Greene380189
Wells379683
Decatur379595
Fayette367176
Posey354941
Jennings346356
Washington325847
LaGrange315774
Spencer313034
Fountain309753
Randolph305487
Sullivan299447
Owen279161
Starke272761
Orange272659
Fulton268851
Jay250634
Perry247451
Carroll241127
Franklin233637
Vermillion229750
Rush228930
Parke215220
Tipton206754
Pike202538
Blackford165634
Pulaski158751
Crawford142818
Newton140742
Benton139816
Brown132646
Martin126916
Switzerland123510
Warren113416
Union93511
Ohio77211
Unassigned0468

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1342777

Reported Deaths: 21471
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1502191556
Cuyahoga1327732318
Hamilton962791318
Montgomery659161136
Summit555141045
Lucas50248862
Butler46732653
Stark40741974
Lorain31004529
Warren29609328
Mahoning26462637
Clermont25206287
Lake24339416
Delaware22014143
Licking20180241
Fairfield20139221
Greene19955268
Trumbull19500508
Medina19478286
Clark17565325
Richland15949231
Portage15851228
Wood15438208
Allen13875256
Miami13549249
Muskingum12261149
Wayne11647237
Columbiana11344239
Tuscarawas10657265
Marion10509148
Pickaway10301128
Scioto10082126
Erie9618171
Ross9209174
Lawrence8516116
Hancock8298141
Ashtabula8180185
Geauga8066155
Belmont7966184
Jefferson7324168
Huron7253127
Union717849
Washington7037119
Athens681064
Sandusky6734133
Darke6559136
Knox6475121
Seneca6237137
Ashland5808112
Auglaize580488
Shelby5654101
Mercer552190
Brown551068
Defiance5361100
Madison535170
Crawford5299114
Highland527581
Fulton520082
Clinton515980
Logan503182
Preble4902110
Putnam4778106
Guernsey454661
Williams448281
Champaign436264
Perry432152
Ottawa431184
Jackson413260
Pike378941
Morrow369150
Fayette367652
Coshocton359466
Hardin350069
Adams348069
Gallia338054
Holmes3197108
Henry318868
Van Wert307170
Hocking291669
Wyandot276158
Carroll256752
Paulding236442
Meigs205242
Monroe185049
Noble164840
Morgan159228
Harrison151940
Vinton133918
Unassigned05
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