Federal court upholds ruling blocking Indiana ultrasound abortion law
A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a prior ruling that blocked an Indiana law that requires women to have an ultrasound at least 18 hours before seeking an abortion.
The Associated Press reported that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a preliminary injunction that U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt issued in April 2017.
Pratt issued the injunction about a year after then-Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed the law.
In Thursday’s 51-page ruling, Judge Ilana Rovner wrote that the waiting period imposes an “undue burden” on women who are seeking an abortion and said that women have the “ability to reason” without needing to have an ultrasound.
“Women, like all humans, are intellectual creatures with the ability to reason, consider, ponder and challenge their own ideas and those of others,” Rovner wrote, according to The Indianapolis Star. “The usual manner in which we seek to persuade is by rhetoric not barriers.”
Rovner added that the law “constitutes an undue burden on those seeking an abortion,” the AP reported. Her reasoning for that argument was because the law could require some women to face long-distance travel and additional expenses to undergo an ultrasound.
“[The ruling] affirms that deeply personal decisions about abortion should be made by women in consultation with their doctors,” American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana’s executive director, Jane Henegar, told AP.
The Star notes that the ACLU first filed this case on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. In the filing, the organization argued that an 18-hour waiting period would cause problems for women related to work and due to travel expenses.
Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter told the Star that he hopes the Indiana attorney general’s office appeals the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The development on Thursday comes after a federal appeals court ruled in April that Indiana’s ban on “selective abortions,” which was also signed into law in 2016, was unconstitutional.
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