INDIANAPOLIS – Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK), and the America Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana are pleased to have been granted a preliminary injunction by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana regarding Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 404.
Under the law’s provisions, a judge who considers a judicial bypass for a pregnant minor would have had the option to alert a parent that the teen is pregnant and seeking an abortion. In addition, physicians would be responsible for obtaining and verifying identifying documents from parents who provide consent for an abortion. PPINK staff would no longer be able to inform teenage patients of their abortion options in other states.
“Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s ruling is an affirmation of abortion rights in Indiana,” said Betty Cockrum, President and CEO of PPINK. “PPINK encourages teenagers to have open and honest conversations with their family members, but we recognize that not every teen is able to do so safely. SEA 404 sought to silence our staff and prevent fully-informed conversations with our patients. It is blatantly unconstitutional and yet another example of politicians trying to make medical decisions for Hoosiers.”
“SEA 404 changes the judicial bypass process that has been upheld by the Supreme Court and compels silence from PPINK staff,” said Ken Falk, the ACLU of Indiana Legal Director. “The court found today that these provisions are unconstitutional, and that requiring abortion providers to verify legal documentation is a violation of the equal protections clause. No other medical professionals are expected to follow these vague rules before providing care.”
PPINK, with the assistance of the ACLU of Indiana, filed the lawsuit against SEA 404 on May 18, 2017. A hearing on PPINK’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the parental notification, speech restriction, and physician verification of identification provisions in SEA 404 was held on June 14. Judge Barker entered the preliminary junction on June 28, 2017.