Indiana Abortion Law Helping Women Gets Supreme Court Hearing

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Indiana Abortion Law Helping Women Gets Supreme Court Hearing Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 21, 2005

Indianapolis, IN ( — The Indiana Supreme Court held a hearing Tuesday on an abortion law intended to help women obtain information about abortion risks and alternative they normally do not receive from abortion businesses beforehand.

A lawyer representing the Clinic for Women abortion facility and other abortion businesses told members of the state’s high court that the law should be overturned because it violates women’s right to privacy.

However, attorneys for the state argued that privacy protections are not specific rights protected by state courts and it argued the state legislature should have the right to pass laws favored by a majority of Hoosiers.

According to the Associated Press, now that oral arguments have been presented the Supreme Court will determine whether the abortion businesses can move forward with their lawsuit to overturn the statute.

A Marion County judge dismissed the original lawsuit, but a state Court of Appeals reversed that decision.

A lawyer for the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, Ken Falk, claims the measure "isn’t to provide informed consent. It’s to undermine the woman’s decision to have an abortion."

But defenders of the law point out that the state Supreme Court, in a different ruling, noted that the measure could help safeguard a woman’s health.

The 1995 law requires abortion practitioners to provide women considering abortion with information, in person and at least 18 hours prior to the abortion, regarding abortion’s risks, dangers and alternatives as well as materials on fetal development.

The fetal development pictures must show the unborn child at approximately the same age as the baby she is carrying.

Similar pro-life laws in other states have proven effective in reducing abortion significantly.

According to Thomas Fisher, special counsel to Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter, the High Court "had pretty well acknowledged that there is a link between this law and protecting the long-term psychological and emotional health of the pregnant woman."

Pro-life groups say they are disappointed, but not surprised, by the lawsuit.

"It is disturbing to see the extent that abortion providers will go to in trying to keep women from receiving informed consent when making an abortion decision," Indiana Right to Life executive director Mike Fichter told "The Indiana law is simply safeguarding a woman’s right to know the truth."

Related web sites:
Indiana Right to Life –