Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill Fights to Defend State Pro-Life Laws From Aggressive Attack

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 15, 2019   |   10:23PM   |   Indianapolis, Indiana

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill asked a federal court on Tuesday to throw out a lawsuit from the abortion industry challenging basically every pro-life law in the state.

The lawsuit was filed by Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, a Texas-based abortion chain notorious for dozens of health violations. It argues that Indiana abortion regulations impose “medically unnecessary burdens on patients,” and “have led clinics to be shut down,” according to The Hill.

But Hill pushed back against those arguments in a court filing, noting that the lawsuit comes from the abortion industry, not the women of Indiana, News Radio 95.3MNC reports. His office asked a federal district court to reject the lawsuit.

“Unsurprisingly, there are not among the plaintiffs any pregnant women seeking to invalidate such safeguards,” Hill wrote. “Plaintiffs attack nearly every Indiana abortion statute and regulation — from licensing to physical examination — including some that do not even affect them. And while plaintiffs invoke the rights of patients, their interests as abortion providers diverge from pregnant women.”

WBIW News reports Hill accused the abortion chain of treating abortion risks as “trivial” and cited research about the physical and psychological damage that abortions can cause, including “bleeding, infections, or injury to the cervix, vagina, or uterus.”

His brief to the court also included several women’s testimonies about their abortions. Describing her drug-induced abortion, one woman said: “The thing I remember most is when I passed the baby. . . . I sat on the bathroom floor and cried. Then I had to flush my baby down the toilet because that was what the clinic had told me to do.”

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“There was so much pain and blood that I thought I might die,” a woman testified about her abortion in the court documents.

The attorney general’s office said abortion clinic licensing, hospital admitting privileges for patient emergency situations and abortion reporting requirements are important safety regulations that protect lives.

The state also defended its informed consent laws that ensure women receive basic information about abortion, risks, alternatives and their unborn baby’s development, according to the report.

Here’s more from the local news:

Beyond WWHA’s disregard for the clear need for measures to protect the health and safety of women, Attorney General Hill said, the challenge brought by WWHA is simply based on a faulty legal premise.

“Plaintiffs’ claims fail as a matter of law,” Attorney General Hill said. “Their broad theory is that, under Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the benefits and burdens of all abortion restrictions are subject to judicial fact-finding and rebalancing. But as already confirmed in this very case, controlling precedents upholding abortion restrictions remain good law.”

The Texas-based abortion chain filed the lawsuit in 2018, aiming to overturn dozens of common-sense abortion laws, including parental involvement for minors and requirements that abortion clinics meet basic health and safety standards.

The abortion industry is hopeful for a second victory after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a set of Texas abortion clinic regulations in 2016.

“The Whole Woman’s Health Supreme Court victory was game-changing — affirming that abortion laws must be based on medical evidence,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, owner of Whole Woman’s Health, told the Washington Post when it filed the lawsuit. “We’re using this new standard to challenge dozens of other restrictions, some dating back decades, that are based on ideology, not health or science.”

Whole Woman’s Health also is involved in similar lawsuits in Virginia and Texas.

Reacting to the lawsuit in 2018, Mike Fichter, president and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, said the abortion industry cares “more about profits than the women they claim to serve.”

“WWHA has made no secret it is repulsed by Indiana’s abortion laws,” Fichter said. “We believe this is why WWHA came to Indiana – to gain standing in order to dismantle every meaningful abortion law in the wake of Hellerstedt, WWHA’s Supreme Court victory.”