Abortion Provider and Pregnancy Resource Center Challenge Indiana Abortion Restrictions; Indiana lawsuit follows similar court challenges in Texas and Virginia
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Today, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance and All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center filed suit as co- plaintiffs in a case challenging Indiana laws that block access to safe and legal abortion in the state. The lawsuit challenges dozens of Indiana abortion restrictions that impose medically unnecessary burdens on patients, require doctors to lie to their patients, and have shuttered Indiana clinics. These drastic restrictions force Hoosiers to travel long distances for an abortion, delay care by days or weeks, and increase the cost by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Two years ago this month, the Supreme Court struck down several provisions of Texas’ anti-abortion law House Bill 2 in a landmark case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The decision in Whole Woman’s Health reaffirmed a woman’s right to end a pregnancy without the “undue burden” of medically unnecessary restrictions. The ruling found that politicians cannot simply claim that an abortion restriction’s benefits outweigh the harm, instead a court must consider medical science and evidence to determine if abortion restrictions have benefits that outweigh the burdens they place on women. If they don’t, the court must strike down those laws as unconstitutional. The court’s historic ruling paved the way for the new lawsuits.
“In Texas, Virginia, and now in Indiana, we have joined forces with our allies to fight for women’s access to quality abortion care without a maze of obstacles,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, President of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance. “The Whole Woman’s Health Supreme Court victory was game-changing—affirming that abortion laws must be based on medical evidence. We’re using this new standard to challenge dozens of restrictions, some dating back decades, that are based on ideology, not health or science.”
“No one should be shut out of care because of needless restrictions that shame, delay, and stigmatize us for our decisions,” said Shelly Dodson, Director of All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center. “Each of us, whoever we are, wherever we live, and however much we earn, should be able to make the reproductive decisions that are best for us and get the health care and support we need, with dignity– including abortion care.”
“Indiana’s abortion laws make it harder for everyone to get abortion care in Indiana, but they compound the difficulties faced by low-income people, people of color, and immigrants, making it exponentially harder for them to access abortion care,” said Dipti Singh, Senior Counsel & Strategy Director at the Lawyering Project. “This lawsuit aims to ensure that abortion access for these communities is a right in reality–not just on paper.”
Indiana laws restricting abortion access are especially harmful to those already struggling for health care and economic security, including low-income people, communities of color, rural communities, young people, and immigrants.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Lawyering Project, Kathrine Jack of Jack Law Office, LLC, Paul Eckles, Erin Simmons, Bradley Honigman, Michael Powell, Thania Charmani, Morgan Petkovich and Shomik Ghosh.
Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA) is working to strategically shift the stigma around abortion care in our culture and is committed to fostering open and honest conversations, lifting up all communities and transforming the abortion care environment. WWHA is a 501(c)3 organization leading powerful stigma eradication, culture change and community education work across the United States. The work is rooted in and informed by direct service work delivering high quality abortion care around the country. WWHA’s largest programs are the current or planned operation of clinics in Austin, Texas; Charlottesville, Virginia; and South Bend, Indiana—places where access to quality care is under attack.
All-Options uses direct service and social change strategies to promote unconditional, judgment-free support for people in all of their decisions, feelings, and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption. We recognize that these issues are complex, but one thing is certain: Everyone deserves to have all options. All-Options is a nonprofit organization providing peer counseling through a national Talkline, training frontline providers and advocates in nonjudgmental options counseling, and offering direct support to Hoosiers at our All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center in Bloomington, Indiana. All-Options PRC is the first center in the country where people can find free pregnancy tests, unbiased peer counseling, diaper support, abortion funding, and adoption information – all under one roof.