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Indiana law going into effect Jan. 1 will require women to have ultrasound before abortion

Indiana law going into effect Jan. 1 will require women to have ultrasound before abortion
© Stefani Reynolds

A new law going into effect in Indiana on Friday will require that pregnant women seeking an abortion have an ultrasound performed at least 18 hours before undergoing the procedure.

The law was first signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence (R) in 2016. Since then, it's been at the center of a years-long battle, facing legal challenges.

A suit from Planned Parenthood challenging the law alleged that the required ultrasound would crowd clinics that did not have enough equipment and create an undue burden on women's right to obtain an abortion.

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Planned Parenthood eventually dropped the lawsuit.

According to IndyStar, a woman can decline, in writing, to view the ultrasound imaging or hear the heartbeat. 

“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," Attorney General Curtis Hill wrote in a tweet.

"This new law serves to empower women with knowledge."

Planned Parenthood says it still opposes the new law.

“This medically unnecessary law passed by the state is only meant to shame, stigmatize and restrict access to abortion, but we are fortunately able to maintain the same level of access to patient care and comply with this medically unnecessary law," Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky said in a statement obtained by local ABC affiliate WHAS 11.

"The burden falls heaviest on our most vulnerable community members. Women of color already bear the brunt of needless abortion restrictions and may face greater barriers to getting the abortion care they need," the statement continued.
 
"Pregnant people already struggling to survive this pandemic are now being forced to navigate mandatory waiting periods that require multiple trips to a health center, placing them and their health care providers at a greater risk of exposure to COVID-19."
 
The new law goes into effect as several states have restricted abortion laws in recent years.
 
This week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineOhio GOP governor comes out against controversial state anti-vaccine bill Overnight Health Care: Biden says US donation of 500 million vaccines will 'supercharge' global virus fight | Moderna asks FDA to clear COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents FDA extends shelf life of J&J vaccine amid concern over expiring doses MORE signed a bill into law that will require women to choose whether to cremate or bury the fetal tissue remaining after an abortion, with women required to pay the cost as well.