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Indiana’s 18-Hour Ultrasound Law Goes Back Into Effect

by | Jan 4, 2021

By Dave Andrusko

On January 1, at long last, Indiana’s 18-hour ultrasound law went back into effect.

As NRL News Today readers may recall, last August Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky [PPINK] dropped its suit against the law which was part of the 2016 Dignity for the Unborn Act signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence. The law requires that women considering abortion be provided the opportunity to view a fetal ultrasound at least 18 hours prior to an abortion.      

From July through December 2016, while the ultrasound law was in effect, there were 496 fewer abortions in Indiana compared to the period of July through December 2017, when the ultrasound provision was blocked and abortions spiked to a 13 percent increase.

The law was initially blocked by a federal judge’s ruling in  2017. After the ruling was upheld by a federal appeals court, the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in, vacated the federal appeals court’s decision on July 2, and sent the case back for further consideration.

When PPINK withdrew its lawsuit, pro-life Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said, “For women considering abortions, ultrasounds are an important part of informed-consent counseling. Anyone interested in protecting women’s health, including their mental health, should support giving them as much information as possible to aid their decision-making. Empowering women with knowledge is fully consistent with the U.S. Constitution.”

“Indiana’s ultrasound law will save lives,” said Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter. “Women deserve the opportunity to see an ultrasound image of their unborn baby at least 18-hours before an abortion in order to have ample opportunity to reconsider an abortion. In the brief time this law was in effect in 2016, abortions dropped sharply in Indiana, only to rise quickly as soon as the law was blocked. Now we hope to see abortions drop once again, this time for the long term.”

Categories: Legislation
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