In response to a lawsuit against Indiana’s Department of Health by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt has issued an injunction against a state law that required women to have an ultrasound at least 18 hours before having an abortion.
The ultrasound mandate is part of a larger anti-choice law, signed last March by Vice President Mike Pence when he was Indiana’s governor, which Salon called “Mike Pence’s sadistic abortion law… geared towards humiliating and bankrupting women who have abortions.”
Judge Pratt’s 53-page ruling addressed the financial burden directly, stating that “For women faced with the already high costs of an abortion and a lack of means to afford them, the additional expenses of lengthy travel, lost wages, and child care created by the new ultrasound law create a significant burden.”
Pratt also dismissed Pence’s justification for the law, writing that “these burdens are clearly undue when weighed against the almost complete lack of evidence that the law furthers the State’s asserted justifications of promoting fetal life and women’s mental health outcomes.”
Already, nine women have been forced to forgo abortions due to the law, which requires women to travel to one of Indiana’s six ultrasound locations for the costly, invasive, and unnecessary medical procedure.
“This is a major victory for women in the state. It’s a major victory for Planned Parenthood,” said Ken Falk, legal director at ACLU in Indiana.
Indeed this is a major victory. With Pence now the number two man in the Trump regime and a heart-beat (or impeachment conviction) away from the Oval Office, however, no one can afford to celebrate for long.
The assault on women will continue. So too must the resistance — after all, it’s working.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com