Judge Upholds Indiana Pro-Life Law Requiring Inspections of Abortion Businesses

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 9, 2020   |   4:53PM   |   Indianapolis, Indiana

A federal judge upheld part of an Indiana pro-life law Wednesday requiring annual inspections of abortion facilities, a move that will protect both unborn babies and mothers.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Young was only a partial victory for the pro-life cause. He did permanently strike down part of the law that requires abortion facilities to report to the state when patients suffer abortion complications.

Passed in 2018, the Indiana law requires annual inspections of abortion facilities and increases reporting requirements when patients experience complications from an abortion. It also includes language to help ensure abortion facilities are reporting suspected abuse, whether by a partner, parent or human trafficker.

Planned Parenthood challenged both the reporting and annual inspection requirements in a lawsuit soon afterward, alleging that even the annual inspections are unfair.

On Wednesday, Young struck down the complications reporting portion of the law, arguing that it is “unconstitutionally vague,” Indiana Public Media reports.

“Consider a physician who treats a woman who previously obtained an abortion and is experiencing depression,” Young wrote in his decision. “Under the statute, the physician must decide whether the patient’s depression arose from the abortion procedure. But the statute provides no guidance as to how the physician — who is not a licensed psychiatrist or clinical psychologist — must make that determination.”

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However, Young agreed with lawmakers that annual inspections of abortion facilities are important for Indianans health and safety, WBIW News reports.

The judge mentioned the horrific discovery of 2,411 aborted babies’ bodies in a former Indiana abortionist’s garage and vehicle last fall. Ulrich Klopfer worked as an abortionist for decades in South Bend, Gary and Fort Wayne, Indiana. However, the state revoked his license in 2016 for failing to report the rape of a 13-year-old patient and other health violations.

Young said the state should be allowed to conduct regular inspections of abortion facilities to protect women and unborn babies from similar incidents in the future.

Reacting to the ruling Thursday, state Attorney General Curtis Hill said he is dedicated to defending the law. His comments suggest the state may appeal the ruling.

“The Indiana General Assembly has a record of passing legislation that safeguards women’s health and protects the lives of unborn children,” Hill said. “I will always consider it an honor to vigorously defend state laws aimed at such essential objectives.”

The abortion industry has a financial reason for claiming abortions are safe for women; of course, they never are safe for the unborn baby. And without regular inspections or reporting requirements, they can continue to make those claims based on what they choose to report.

Mike Fichter, president and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, commented previously on the law: “Indiana’s new law, SEA 340 on abortion complications reporting, brings needed transparency to the abortion industry. Planned Parenthood likes to claim that abortions never harm women. If that was the case, why do they oppose this common sense law? Their lawsuit begs the question, does Planned Parenthood have something to hide?”

Fichter said he is confident the law will withstand a court challenge.

At least 20 states require some type of reporting of abortion complications, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group.

Regular inspections and complication reports are basic, common-sense requirements for health care facilities that help shed light on their health and safety practices.

The horrific case of abortionist Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia prompted a number of states to pass abortion facility regulations within the past decade. Prosecutors in the case said Gosnell got away with his shoddy, murderous abortion practice for decades because of the lack of government oversight. According to authorities investigating the case, hair and nail salons were subject to greater scrutiny than abortion clinics in Pennsylvania. Gosnell eventually was convicted of murdering three newborn babies, contributing to the death of a female patient in his “house of horrors” abortion facility and hundreds of other violations.