Planned Parenthood has conceded defeat in its lawsuit challenging Indiana's abortion ultrasound law, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Thursday.
Indiana's law requiring ultrasounds at least 18 hours before women undergo abortions was passed in 2016 but has been blocked by a federal judge's ruling since 2017. The ruling was upheld by a federal appeals court, however the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the federal appeals court’s decision on July 2 and sent the case back for further consideration in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent June Medical LLC v. Russo.
Planned Parenthood's concession was the result of the abortion giant's opening of a new Fort Wayne facility that will provide the ultrasounds required by the law, a release from the Indiana AG's office said. Planned Parenthood agreed to drop its lawsuit against the ultrasound requirement if the State holds off on enforcing it until January 1, 2021. This will allow Planned Parenthood time to train Fort Wayne center staff to operate ultrasound equipment.
“I’m pleased that Planned Parenthood saw the likelihood that this very reasonable law ultimately would be upheld,” Hill said. “To their credit, they recognized the merits of avoiding further legal wrangling over this matter.”
Indiana’s law is rooted in respect for women’s health and the sanctity of human life, added Hill.
“For women considering abortions, ultrasounds are an important part of informed-consent counseling,” Hill said. “Anyone interested in protecting women’s health, including their mental health, should support giving them as much information as possible to aid their decision-making. Empowering women with knowledge is fully consistent with the U.S. Constitution.”
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As of August 1, 2020, 26 U.S. states have some sort of regulation of the provision of ultrasounds by abortion providers, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion think tank originally affiliated with Planned Parenthood. Thirteen states require verbal counseling or written materials to include information on accessing ultrasound services.
Pro-life advocates estimate that hundreds of thousands of unborn babies have been saved by ultrasounds viewed by expecting parents at pregnancy centers across the U.S. Heartbeat International continually offers training to affiliate centers that offer ultrasound services.
When 11 states filed an amicus brief earlier this month defending the FDA’s protective rule on chemical abortions, Indiana among them, Hill spoke in favor of providing women complete information about abortion specifics then as well.
Hill offered remarks on behalf of the state of Indiana at a February burial ceremony for the thousands of remains that had been discovered on the property of Ulrich Klopfer after the death of the notorious abortionist in September of last year.
The AG's statement said the concession makes clear that if anything threatened women's ability to obtain abortions, it was Planned Parenthood’s own business decisions, not the challenged law - an argument that the State made all along.
Click HERE for a court document relevant to the case.