NRL News

Federal Judge issues permanent injunction against pro-life Indiana laws, state attorney general may appeal to 7th Circuit

by | Aug 11, 2021

By Dave Andrusko

Last August, NRL News Today reported on a decision rendered by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker, not known as a judge sympathetic to pro-life legislation, who upheld a number of Indiana abortion laws against a lawsuit filed by the Texas-based Whole Woman’s Health Alliance which has an abortion clinic in South Bend, Indiana.  However Judge Barker allowed court action to continue against many other very important Indiana abortion laws.

On Tuesday, Judge Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, “issued a permanent injunction barring state employees from enforcing or administering” six abortion-related provisions.

Indiana Right to Life denounced Judge Barker’s decision. The NRLC affiliate said, “U.S. District Judge Issues Sweeping Injunction Against Major Provisions of Indiana Abortion Law: Court Action Will Lead To Massive Expansion of Chemical And Late Term Abortions While Denying Women Fetal Pain Information.”

Under the injunction, Indiana is blocked from enforcing physician-only limitations on chemical abortions, Indiana’s ban on chemical abortions via telemedicine, Indiana’s requirement that second trimester abortions can only be done in hospitals, Indiana’s requirement that women be informed about an unborn baby’s ability to feel pain at 20 weeks, Indiana’s requirement that women be informed that human physical life begins at fertilization, and multiple physical requirements for facilities that do abortions.

Early in her 158-page-long decision, Judge Barker said the lawsuit “reflects an attempt by Plaintiffs to reduce Indiana’s prolix [drawn out] and often burdensome legal scheme governing abortion services, the number and complexity of which limitations have increased during the decades following Roe v. Wade.” She concluded the aforementioned laws posed an “undue burden”

But, according to Tom Davies of the Associated Press

The state attorney general, whose office has been defending those laws in court, said Barker’s ruling contradicted higher court decisions and pointed toward a possible appeal to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals,

“We will continue to fight to defend Indiana’s commonsense abortion laws and to build a culture of life in Indiana,” Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita said in a statement.

Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter said, “This is a horrific ruling that will directly lead to a massive expansion of chemical and late term abortions in Indiana.”

“The sweeping blockage of these common sense laws jeopardizes the health and safety of women, leaves women in the dark on issues of fetal pain and the development of human life, and places communities like Fort Wayne and Evansville clearly in the crosshairs for abortion business expansion. This is judicial activism at its absolute worst.”  

Categories: Judicial