Court blocks Indiana abortion, disability law

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A federal court issued a preliminary injunction June 30, temporarily blocking a new Indiana law that would ban abortions based on “a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down Syndrome or any other disability.”

“(Planned Parenthood Indiana and Kentucky) is entitled to an injunction as to all of the challenged provisions,” the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana wrote in the order. “PPINK is likely to succeed on the merits of its challenge to the anti-discrimination provisions because they directly contravene the principle established in Roe v. Wade… that a state may not prohibit a woman from making the ultimate decision to have an abortion prior to fetal viability.”

If it becomes law, HEA 1337, signed into law in March, would make Indiana the second state to ban abortions on the basis of disability, after North Dakota, which passed a similar law in 2013.

Without the preliminary injunction, filed by the Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, the law would have gone into effect July 1.

“We are heartened that the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, are signaling that politicians can no longer hide behind sham rationales to prevent a woman from getting the care she needs,” said Jane Henegar, executive director of the ACLU of Indiana, which is representing Planned Parenthood in the case, in a news release. “This legislation was never about discrimination. The ACLU stands firmly against discrimination in all forms.”

In addition, HEA 1337 requires that providers notify patients of these new restrictions and that the state dispose of aborted fetal tissue via burial or cremation, according to the Indianapolis Star. The preliminary injunction temporarily stops these restrictions from going into law as well.