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Indiana won a major victory on behalf of mothers and babies in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on September 8th. The circuit court reversed a district court decision that blocked enforcement of certain provisions of recent abortion legislation. The circuit court decided that the lower court’s decision was inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent and that the arguments for the injunction against enforcement of the law would likely not hold up on appeal. Therefore, the circuit court reversed the injunction, allowing Indiana to enforce the legislation, pending a full appeal. 

The district court’s injunction prevented enforcement of portions of Indiana’s abortion legislation, found in Indiana Code (IC) Title 16, Article 34. First, it prevented Indiana from enforcing the ban on dangerous telemedicine abortions (IC 16-34-1-11). Telemedicine abortions often offer mothers abortion-inducing drugs without the mothers ever seeing a physician at all. 

Abortion-inducing drugs, though, are harmful regardless of whether a woman sees a physician before ingesting them. For example, Mifepristone, part of an abortion-inducing drug cocktail, has caused at least two dozen deaths and well over 4000 other adverse health effects over the last 2 decades, according to the FDA. At the very least, such harmful drugs should require an in-person physician’s consultation, which is exactly what Indiana intended with its telemedicine abortion ban. The adverse health risks of such abortion-inducing drugs are no trivial matter, but that is how such risks are treated when abortion-inducing drugs are offered through telemedicine.  

The Seventh Circuit reversal will allow some other provisions of the Indiana law (under IC 16-34-2-1) to go into effect as well. These include a physician-only requirement for drug-induced abortions, a ban on second trimester abortions outside of hospitals or surgical centers, and a requirement for an in-person physical exam. 

Again, the Seventh Circuit reversal of the lower court decision is temporary, pending a full appeal. The abortion restrictions in Indiana are being challenged in court by abortion advocacy groups, led by Whole Woman’s Health Alliance. 

We look forward to Indiana winning this appeal and continuing to enforce perfectly reasonable restrictions on abortion to ensure the health and well-being of mothers, as well as saving the lives of countless babies. Not only are these restrictions best for the health and safety of Hoosier women, they are also instrumental in Indiana’s fight to protect all life from conception to natural death.    

Photo by Ryan de Hamer on Unsplash

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.