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Unsafe: Judge halts Indiana law requiring reporting of abortion complications

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A federal judge has imposed a preliminary injunction blocking an Indiana law requiring abortion complications to be reported to the state. Indiana Right to Life noted on June 29, 2018:

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed suit in April to block two portions of the law: first, that physicians, hospitals and abortion facilities report when a woman is injured by an abortion; second, that abortion operators must disclose greater amounts of information when attempting to open a new abortion facility in Indiana.

The Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 340 was signed into law in March by Gov. Eric Holcomb and was expected to take effect this month. Also according to Indiana Right to Life:

Complications required to be reported include: uterine perforation, cervical perforation, infection, hemorrhaging, respiratory arrest, shock, or incidents in which parts of an aborted baby are left within the woman. The law also enhances reporting requirements when a woman gets an abortion by tracking whether she was seeking the abortion as a result of abuse, coercion, harassment or trafficking….

The ACLU filed its lawsuit in April on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK), calling the requirement “vague” and claiming it “offends due process.”

READ: New Missouri Dept. of Health director: Abortion complications have gone unreported for years

Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, correctly noted that SEA 340 brought needed transparency to the abortion industry: “Planned Parenthood likes to claim that abortions never harm women. If that was the case, why do they oppose this common sense law?… [D]oes Planned Parenthood have something to hide?”

The law defined “abortion complication” as “any adverse physical or psychological condition arising from the induction or performance of an abortion.” The term includes the following known complications:

(1) Uterine perforation.
(2) Cervical perforation.
(3) Infection.
(4) Hemorrhaging.
(5) Blood clots.
(6) Failure to terminate the pregnancy.
(7) Incomplete abortion (retained tissue).
(8) Pelvic inflammatory disease.
(9) Missed ectopic pregnancy.
(10) Cardiac arrest.
(11) Respiratory arrest.
(12) Renal failure.
(13) Metabolic disorder.
(14) Shock.
(15) Embolism.
(16) Coma.
(17) Placenta previa in subsequent pregnancies.
(18) Pre-term delivery in subsequent pregnancies.
(19) Free fluid in the abdomen.
(20) Hemolytic reaction due to the administration of ABO-incompatible blood or blood products.
(21) Hypoglycemia occurring while the patient is being treated at the abortion facility.
(22) Physical injury associated with treatment performed at the abortion facility.
(23) Adverse reaction to anesthesia or other drugs.
(24) Psychological or emotional complications, including depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and sleeping disorders.
(25) Death.
(26) Any other adverse event as defined by criteria provided in the Food and Drug Administration Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

The state maintained that “while there are some studies on abortion complications, there is no comprehensive data on the frequency and severity of abortion complications…. To help remedy the shortage of data regarding abortion complications, and ultimately, to better inform a woman’s choice whether to have an abortion, the Indiana General Assembly enacted Indiana Senate Enrolled Act 340.”

As Live Action News has previously reported, a look at abortion consent forms reveal that there are, in fact, serious complications associated with abortion— even early ones.

In addition, they reveal that if a complication occurs, the woman, not the abortion facility, may be held financially responsible for continued care once transferred to a hospital. Interestingly, many of the complications defined by the law are also listed on Planned Parenthood abortion consent forms as well as the website for the National Abortion Federation, both organizations recently exposed for how they handle reports of sexual abuse or sexual harassment.

Planned Parenthood argued that the statutory definition of “abortion complication” was “unconstitutionally vague” because it included “any adverse physical or psychological condition arising from the induction or performance of an abortion.”  Judge Richard L. Young focused on one word in the statute, writing, “First, the twenty-six listed conditions are introduced with the statement, ‘The term [abortion complication] includes the following.’ He ruled that because the statute added the term “includes,” the state failed to “inform PPINK what conduct is prohibited,” adding:

Consequently, if PPINK fails to report every “adverse physical or psychological condition” for which patients seek treatment as a reportable condition, no matter how routine, minor, and expected, it and its physicians run the risk of being found in the future by the Indiana Department of Health or the Indiana Medical Licensing Board to be out of compliance with their statutory responsibilities, thus imperiling their licenses.

The profitable abortion lobby’s consistent effort to squash any means to identify and report abortion-related complications to state agencies is yet another reason why American women should not trust claims that abortion is safe. Sadly, women discover the adverse effects of abortion too late, and in some cases this has resulted in the death of the woman along with her preborn child.

In 2017, Planned Parenthood committed 5,551 out of the 7,778 abortions reported to the state. The report clearly shows that in Indiana, Planned Parenthood dominates the abortion market, with over 71 percent of the state’s abortions. Although the organization’s market share in the state is down slightly from 2016, (71.4 percent in 2017 from 72.8 in 2016,) it is up from previous years.

“Almost every time Indiana lawmakers pass legislation to protect women’s health and safety, the abortion giant runs to activist judges to block the laws,” Indiana RTL’s Fichter said.

Fichter is urging Attorney General Curtis Hill to appeal the court’s decision.

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