A federal judge has allowed Indiana to enforce a state law that prohibits dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions. The law was passed in 2019 but was challenged by the ACLU. Days before it was slated to take effect, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker placed an injunction on the law that has prohibited the state from enforcing it for the past three years.
Following the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a decision that put the issue of abortion back to each state to decide, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita made a request to the court to lift the injunction. Barker decided to lift her injunction in light of the SCOTUS decision.
The D&E abortion is the most common type of second-trimester abortion. It is a brutal procedure in which the abortionist uses scissors or forceps to tear the baby apart limb by limb. This procedure is especially heinous given that research shows preborn children may feel pain in the womb as early as eight weeks.
“The court’s ruling this week vacating its earlier injunction that permitted this gruesome procedure to continue is an exciting battle victory in our war to defend the unborn and protect women,” Rokita said Friday in a statement. “My office will continue to take all necessary steps to limit abortion, assist mothers, empower families to choose life, and ultimately protect the lives of the unborn.”
Abortion advocates also had their own statement following the ruling, calling the prohibition of a procedure that brutally kills preborn children “appalling” and “critical health care.”
“Banning the most common form of second trimester abortion is appalling and prohibits physicians from using their medical judgment, training and expertise,” said Nicole Erwin, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates – Indiana in a statement to the Indy Star. “To ensure that extremist politicians can’t further undermine — or outright ban — this safe, critical health care, Planned Parenthood and our allies will fight like hell in the General Assembly’s special legislative session just a few weeks away.”
According to data from the Indiana Department of Health, the newly-enacted law has the potential to save lives — in 2021 more than 100 abortions were committed in the state at 14 weeks or later.
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