Federal Judge Blocks Abortion Ultrasound Requirement

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Prior to HEA 1337, which went into effect last July, women were required to have ultrasounds before having an abortion, but the ultrasound could be done on the same day as the abortion procedure. After so many assaults on freedom to choose this year, including OH banning abortions after 24 weeks, this is def a glimmer of hope for pro-choicers!

A federal judge has blocked an IN law that would have required women to undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hours before an abortion.

On Friday, US District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled with Planned Parenthood, granting a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the mandate.

INDIANAPOLIS-The law that requires a woman to have an ultrasound at least 18 hours before having an abortion has been blocked by a federal judge. "These burdens are clearly undue when weighed against the nearly complete lack of evidence that the law furthers the State's asserted justifications of promoting fetal life and women's mental health outcomes".

Planned Parenthood sued the commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health as well as several county prosecutors past year, specifically targeting the ultrasound mandate in its complaint. 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.

Wolf, whose relationship with Planned Parenthood caused a minor stir as efforts to defund the organization gained new momentum, has indicated on numerous occasions that he would not sign legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide abortion services. So it looks like the ultrasound doesn't make much of a difference after all! The law, one of the most restrictive in the nation, requires burial or cremation of fetal remains, and also prohibits abortions sought due to genetic abnormalities or disabilities.

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Alternatively, Congress could use a budget reconciliation bill to cut off Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood and redirect that money to federally qualified community health centers, which do not provide abortion and outnumber Planned Parenthood by a margin of 20 to 1.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said that while he does not agree with the court's decision, "My office is considering our next steps in the litigation". According to the judge's opinion, however, the state "presents little evidence, and certainly no compelling evidence, that the new ultrasound law actually furthers that interest".

The president of Planned Parenthood of IN and Kentucky praised the decision and told CBS News, "I would prefer that the Legislature figure out that it's not their job to practice medicine, and that we would IN fact get politicians out of our doctor's offices".

In a statement posted on the website of the Irvine center he founded, Daleiden said the "bogus charges from Planned Parenthood's political cronies are fake news".

Ken Falk, the legal director of the ACLU of IN, said only about 25 percent of IN women seeking abortions actually agree to see the fetal ultrasound, or hear the fetal heartbeat if it's present.

"I do think time is of the essence".

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