Planned Parenthood Fighting in Court on Behalf of its Patients
Washington, D.C. -- Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit today against the state of Indiana to block enforcement of an extreme new law that threatens access to safe, legal abortion for women across the state. The sweeping new restrictions would ban abortions based on “race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex; or a diagnosis or potential diagnosis” of a disability -- provisions opposed by leading medical experts, disability rights advocates, and members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus. This includes the Arc of Indiana, a disability rights group, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
In addition, the law forces all abortion providers to have fetal tissue buried or cremated following a safe, legal abortion. Just like people would expect, Planned Parenthood works with professional medical removal vendors to ensure fetal tissue is handled respectfully and safely, in accordance with state law. We talk with patients on a case-by-case basis to answer all of their questions about how fetal tissue is handled. This law, on the other hand, is the very definition of politicians interfering in a woman’s health care.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is represented by attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
“As an abortion provider and a woman of color, this law is an insult to me and, worse, to women in Indiana. What the politicians behind this law don’t seem to know is that clinicians who provide abortion are trained to give professional and compassionate care to each patient, nothing is more important to us. And our patients are thoughtful women who are making the best decisions for themselves and their families. These decisions are extremely personal and should not be dictated by intrusive laws,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald Mosley, Chief Medical Officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
“This law is clearly another attempt by the governor to end access to safe, legal abortions by imposing more unnecessary and unconstitutional restrictions on women, our health care centers and our staff,” said Betty Cockrum, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. “The law limits women’s rights and shames them during this deeply personal decision by calling their motives into question.”
“At the ACLU, we work every day to promote equality for people of color, women, and individuals with disabilities,” said Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “If the politicians behind this law were also serious about promoting equality, they would ensure that everyone has access to quality education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. Instead, they have chosen only to interfere with a woman’s ability to make a personal decision that is best for herself and her family.”
Already, Indiana faces some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, yet this law was signed against the recommendations of leading medical experts, disability rights advocates, and members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists hand-delivered a letter strongly calling for a veto of this bill on the grounds “it threatens both the health and the constitutional rights of women in Indiana.” The organization’s letter, signed by 24 local OB-GYNs, categorizes the bill’s potential repercussions as “insensitive, inhumane, and wrong,” and note that the bill, if enacted, would “force us [doctors] to lie.”
As The Arc, a Indiana disability rights group wrote: “The Arc of Indiana is deeply disappointed in the passage of House Bill 1337, which uses people with disabilities to advance a very narrow, political agenda… With the passage of HB 1337, the citizens of Indiana are the losers because many of our legislators failed us. They failed to put their time, energy and support toward actions that would improve the lives of Indiana’s most vulnerable citizens and instead allowed a political organization to push them into approving a divisive law.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
April 07, 2016