Indiana Abortions Increase for First Time in 7 Years After Judge Overturns Key Pro-Life Law

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 6, 2018   |   10:12AM   |   Indianapolis, IN

Abortions rose for the first time in seven years in Indiana after a federal judge blocked a state ultrasound law.

The Indiana State Department of Health released its annual abortion report this week, showing an increase of 496 abortions from 2016 to 2017. It is the first increase in abortions since 2009 in Indiana.

In total, 7,778 women had their unborn babies aborted in 2017 in Indiana, according to the report.

Indiana Right to Life linked the increase to U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt’s decision to block a law requiring that women be given the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their unborn baby at least 18 hours before having an abortion.

“Activist judges blocked Indiana’s ultrasound requirement in early 2017, and now we’re paying the price in rising abortions,” said Mike Fichter, president and chief executive officer of the pro-life organization. “We can only imagine how many lives would have been spared if these laws had been able to take effect.”

The law was in effect until Pratt blocked it in April 2017, a move that coincides with the rise in abortions.

The pro-life organization reports:

From July through December 2016, while the ultrasound law was in effect, there were 3,317 abortions in Indiana. During the same period of July through December 2017, after the blockage of the law, abortions spiked to 3,813 in Indiana, a 13 percent increase compared to 2016. A significant portion of the increase was due to a massive 33 percent increase in women from out of state coming to Indiana for abortions, with 296 abortions on out of state women in 2017 compared to 222 in 2016.

In total, there were 496 more abortions done in Indiana from July through December 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. When considering the overall annual increase in abortions in 2017 was 498 compared to 2016, the impact of the blockage of Indiana’s ultrasound law is clear.

The Planned Parenthood abortion chain, which sued to block the law, ironically boasted that its programs help reduce abortions.

“Indiana has some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation, and women are still choosing to terminate their pregnancies,” Christie Gillespie, president of the Indiana and Kentucky abortion affiliate told the Indy Star. “The fact is that no one in the state of Indiana does more to prevent unintended pregnancies, which lowers the rate of abortion, than Planned Parenthood.”

However, the local news reported Planned Parenthood does most of the abortions in Indiana, including 5,551 in 2017.

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Fichter pointed to Planned Parenthood’s financial interest in abortions.

“Planned Parenthood and its allies run to the courts every time our legislators pass laws that could jeopardize their lucrative abortion business,” he said.

The abortion chain also has sued to block state laws requiring parental notification for minors, dignified disposal of aborted babies, mandated reporting of botched abortions that injure women, and a ban on discriminatory abortions based on the unborn baby’s sex, race, national origin or Down syndrome.

“We can only imagine how many lives would have been spared if these laws had been able to take effect,” Fichter said. “We are heartbroken that the continued blockage of good laws by activist judges is leading to more deaths in Indiana.”