ACLU explains lawsuit against Indiana abortion law; Right to Life says it doesn’t stand a chance

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 6:32 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - The ACLU lawsuit hoping to block Indiana’s abortion restriction laws cite constitutional violations and discrimination as arguments in their case. However, anti-abortion activists say they don’t believe the arguments used in the lawsuit will succeed in blocking those restrictions.

Indiana abortion clinic operators filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block the state’s ban on abortions before it takes effect in about two weeks.

ACLU Legal Director Ken Falk says there are several arguments they will be using in court hoping to block the law.

The lawsuit filed in a Monroe County court claims the ban, which includes limited exceptions, “strips away the fundamental rights of people seeking abortion care” in violation of the Indiana Constitution. It asks for a judge to block the law from going into effect on Sept. 15, arguing the ban “will infringe on Hoosiers’ right to privacy, violate Indiana’s guarantee of equal privileges and immunities, and includes unconstitutionally vague language.”

The Indiana law has few exceptions for abortion including rape, incest and the life of the mother. However, the procedure can only be performed in hospitals. The lawsuit lists seven counties with abortion clinics as defendants in the case. Each clinic says they are claiming discrimination because if the law goes into effect they’ll lose their licenses.

Abortion Law Challenge
Abortion Law Challenge(WPTA)

Let’s take a look at the data cited in the lawsuit from the Indiana Department of Health’s Annual Terminated Pregnancy Report. In Indiana last year there were 8,414 abortions reported. Out of those, 323 were from Allen County. The data from the Indiana Department of Health, quoted in the lawsuit, show 98% of the total number of abortions were performed in clinics. Only 2% were in hospitals.

Abortion Law Challenge
Abortion Law Challenge(WPTA)

The lawsuit says the abortion restrictions will also disproportionately affect people with less resources. Data show it’s more expensive to get an abortion at a hospital rather than a clinic. The data show 75% of people seeking abortions have poverty-level incomes. The defendants claim, according to the data, the higher cost will make obtaining an abortion nearly impossible for many Hoosiers.

ABC21 News also talked to Abigail Lorenzen with the Right to Life of Northeast Indiana. She says she believes the lawsuit won’t succeed on blocking the abortion restrictions. She says many states have seen lawsuits like this one and they have not passed, especially after the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

In addition, Lorenzen says she doesn’t believe the law violates the state constitution. She says as they’ve been trying to convince lawmakers to ban abortion, they’ve mentioned the state constitution protects human life. Lorenzen says, that life deserves the same protections for both born and unborn babies.

Stay with ABC21 News for updates on this ongoing litigation.