By Alec Brown
The newest of Indiana’s abortion laws was set to take place on July 1st, but was blocked by a federal district judge Thursday, June 28th. Senate Enrolled Act 340 would have required abortion providers in Indiana to report certain complications to the Indiana State Department of Health.
The list of complications includes infection, blood clots, uterine or cervical complications, renal failure, and death. In addition to annual complication reports, Indiana abortion providers would have been subject to inspection requirements.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and sued in May to block the new law in the federal district court based in Evansville, IN. Ultimately, Judge Richard Young from Indiana’s southern district ruled in favor of PPINK, granting an injunction to stop the enforcement of the new requirements.
He decided the statute passed by Indiana’s general assembly and signed by Governor Holcomb was too vague. Planned Parenthood’s physicians may be put at undue risk of licensing and criminal penalties by misinterpreting the law, which apparently violates their due process rights.
According to Young, “If PPINK and its physicians interpret the statute incorrectly and report less than everything, they risk civil and criminal sanctions. This violates PPINK’s due process rights. The violation of constitutional rights constitutes irreparable harm.”
Due to the apparent ambiguity of Senate Enrolled Act 340, the Indiana State Department of Health will not be able to receive the information it needs or complete the inspections it requires. Christie Gillespie, President and CEO of PPINK, said, “Hoosiers deserve meaningful laws that govern their health care.”
It seems to me that in order to properly govern health care, the health department should have access to information regarding abortion complications.