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Women at risk: Federal judge strikes down Indiana law requiring reporting of abortion complications

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A federal judge has overturned an Indiana law requiring any complications from abortions to be reported to the state. U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled Wednesday that the law is unconstitutional, two years after placing an injunction against it, blocking it from taking effect.

In 2018, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed SEA 340 into law. According to Indiana Right to Life, complications required to be reported included uterine perforation, cervical perforation, infection, hemorrhaging, respiratory arrest, shock, or botched abortions in which parts of an aborted baby are left inside the woman. It further required reporting if a woman was seeking an abortion due to abuse, coercion, harassment or trafficking.

READ: When abortion complications aren’t properly tracked or reported, the industry can’t claim it’s safe

The ACLU quickly filed a lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK). Judge Young agreed with them, saying the law was “constitutionally vague,” even though it explicitly listed at least 26 known complications for reporting.

“The statute simply lacks any standard to guide physicians in determining whether a condition qualifies as an abortion complication for purposes of reporting,” Young wrote in his decision. “The indeterminacy of the statute’s requirements denies fair notice to physicians and invites arbitrary enforcement by prosecutors.”

Young did, however, uphold another provision that mandated annual inspections of abortion facilities, which he said could have caught abortionists like Ulrich Klopfer earlier. Klopfer had his medical license revoked in 2015, and after his death earlier last year, the bodies of thousands of aborted babies were found in his home and car.

 

The problem with Young’s ruling is that it allows a complete lack of transparency within the abortion industry to continue. As Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, previously noted, “Planned Parenthood likes to claim that abortions never harm women. If that was the case, why do they oppose this common sense law? Their lawsuit begs the question, does Planned Parenthood have something to hide?”

And despite what the abortion industry claims, complications from abortion are real, they actually happen, and they can be very serious — even with early, first-trimester abortions. Young’s ruling prioritizes the wants of the abortion industry over the safety of women. Women deserve to not only know if an abortionist has a history of injuring women, but to have the ability to hold the abortion facility responsible afterwards.

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