Indiana abortion rights groups and medical providers filed a new lawsuit on Tuesday to stop the state’s ban on the procedure from going into effect.
The lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, and other groups argues the law violates Indiana’s state constitution by abrogating its protections for privacy, due process, and other rights.
Indiana’s ban was the first to be passed after the Supreme Court overturned the near half-century precedent that established a constitutional right to abortion across the nation.
The state’s new ban would make the procedure illegal in almost all circumstances, and from immediate conception. It prohibits all abortions after conception, with limited exceptions for rape, incest, lethal fetal abnormalities, or a serious health risk to the mother.
If the court does not intervene, it will take effect on September 15.
“This ban is dangerous and cruel,” Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, and Kentucky said in a statement. “It will directly harm the people of Indiana and send ripple effects through our entire health care system.”
The lawsuit is one of many filed by civil liberties and reproductive rights groups across the U.S., arguing that state constitutions should protect the right to an abortion.
Last week, new abortion bans took effect in four U.S. states, adding to the raft of restrictions states have enforced since the U.S. Supreme Court ended the right to abortion in June.
New bans took place last week in Idaho, Texas, and Tennessee. Those laws are called “trigger bans” because they were passed while Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that established the constitutional right to abortion, was still in effect. They were designed to be triggered once the Supreme Court overturned Roe, which it did in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization in June.
All these states already either outlawed abortion or severely limited its access. The new laws include criminal penalties for providers.
By the end of last week, 11 states will likely be enforcing near-total abortion bans at all stages of pregnancy: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.