Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

Federal Judge Blocks Abortion Ultrasound Requirement

Federal Judge Blocks Abortion Ultrasound Requirement

A federal judge says he plans to block Missouri's abortion clinic restrictions in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision last June.

"Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK), and the America Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana are pleased to have been granted a preliminary injunction by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana regarding the ultrasound requirement in House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1337", wrote both organizations in a Monday news release. Prior to the 18-hour mandatory ultrasound requirement, patients in IN were forced to have an ultrasound before receiving abortion care, but could schedule and have it on the same day as the abortion.

The General Assembly is also considering legislation that would imposed a 20-week abortion ban in Pennsylvania and "criminalize the safest medical procedure for second trimester abortions", according to Stevens. These laws affect low-income women most prominently, because they can not afford to take time off of work in order to fulfill these requirements.

With HEA 1337, IN lawmakers created several new provisions regulating abortions IN the state, but Friday's ruling addresses only the ultrasound mandate.

The provison's "burdens. on women seeking to terminate their pregnancies. dramatically outweigh the benefits, making the burdens undue and the new ultrasound law likely unconstitutional", Pratt wrote.

The videos have sparked several states and federal level investigations into Planned Parenthood, and have revitalized the effort to defund the nation's leading abortion provider. Planned Parenthood then has the discretion to move funds towards abortion services, which effectively means that tax-payer money contributes to the financing of abortions.

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The law was part of an abortion restrictions package signed into law by then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence past year.

The Indiana law is not unique, in fact many other states have tried and failed to impose similar legislation.

Locals visiting the local Planned Parenthood location have been met with locked doors and a full answering machine leaving more questions than answers. "It's a major victory for Planned Parenthood", Ken Falk, legal director at ACLU in IN, told members of the media at a news conference on Monday.

Only four of those 17 centers offer abortion services, the group says, and the only providers of non-medically indicated abortion services in the state that are not affiliated with PPINK are located in Indianapolis, forcing women from rural areas to travel there to get an abortion. Another provision requiring the cremation and burial of aborted fetuses was also blocked by the judge.

A pro-life leader in IN, disappointed by a ruling against the state's ultrasound law, says the judge issuing the ruling failed to recognize a legitimate alternative to what the judge considers a problem with the law.

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