Indiana’s 18-Hour Ultrasound Law To Go Back Into Effect After State’s Largest Abortion Business Drops Suit

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s 18-hour ultrasound law will go back into effect on January 1, 2021, as a result of Indiana’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood, conceding it will not win its suit which has blocked the law since 2017. The ultrasound law, part of the 2016 Dignity for the Unborn Act signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence, requires that women considering abortion be provided the opportunity to view a fetal ultrasound at least 18 hours prior to an abortion.

A significant decline in abortions is expected in Indiana as a result of the ultrasound law going back into effect. From July through December 2016, while the ultrasound law was in effect, there were 496 fewer abortions in Indiana compared to the period of July through December 2017, when the ultrasound provision was blocked and abortions spiked to a 13 percent increase.

The concession underscores that Planned Parenthood and the ACLU did not feel they could win the suit in the Seventh Circuit in the wake of this summer’s June Medical Services vs. Russo decision by the Supreme Court. Two days after the June Medical Services ruling, the Court vacated a previous Seventh Circuit ruling blocking the ultrasound law and remanded the case back to the Seventh Circuit for reconsideration.

On August 7, the impact of the June Medical Services ruling was felt as Planned Parenthood and the ACLU were dealt a blow by the Eighth Circuit when it lifted injunctions against multiple pro-life laws in Arkansas.

“Indiana’s ultrasound law will save lives,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter. “Women deserve the opportunity to see an ultrasound image of their unborn baby at least 18-hours before an abortion in order to have ample opportunity to reconsider an abortion. In the brief time this law was in effect in 2016, abortions dropped sharply in Indiana, only to rise quickly as soon as the law was blocked. Now we hope to see abortions drop once again, this time for the long term. We regret, however, that this life-saving law will not go back into effect until January.”

In a release earlier today, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill stated, ““For women considering abortions, ultrasounds are an important part of informed-consent counseling. Anyone interested in protecting women’s health, including their mental health, should support giving them as much information as possible to aid their decision-making. Empowering women with knowledge is fully consistent with the U.S. Constitution.”

Fichter is skeptical of Planned Parenthood’s claim that new ultrasound equipment at its office in Fort Wayne drove its decision to drop the suit. “Planned Parenthood is dropping this suit because it fears it won’t win now that the new standard of June Medical Services is being applied by the courts,” Fichter notes. “This move is to cut legal costs in what it knows will be a losing battle. The courts have clearly abandoned the Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt framework from 2016, and that’s great news for pro-life laws moving forward.”

Fichter also raised deep concern that the move is just another step in the direction of Planned Parenthood attempting to operate an abortion business in Fort Wayne, stating, “With Planned Parenthood, connecting the dots means it always comes back to the business of abortion. Always.”

When asked by the Seattle Times in 2019 if Planned Parenthood intends to do abortions in Fort Wayne, its CEO Chris Charbonneau replied, “Absolutely”.

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United States Supreme Court remands Indiana ultrasound, parental notification appeals to Seventh Circuit; cert denied in South Bend abortion clinic licensing appeal

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The United States Supreme Court today took action on three Indiana appeals over abortion-related cases.

In two separate Indiana appeals, the Court granted a writ of certiorari. The judgments in these two cases are vacated and both remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for further consideration in light of the June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Russo decision issued Monday.

One of the cases involves Indiana law requiring the notification of parents when a minor daughter seeks a judicial bypass to have an abortion. This law is blocked by the Seventh Circuit.

The second case, involves Indiana law requiring that women seeking abortions be given the opportunity to view an ultrasound of their unborn baby at least 18 hours prior to an abortion. This law is also blocked by the Seventh Circuit.

In a third appeal, the Court denied cert in a case involving the licensing of the Whole Women’s Health Association abortion clinic in South Bend. The denial of cert means the South Bend abortion clinic can continue to operate as its suit against multiple Indiana pro-life laws goes forward in the courts. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill argued a federal judge’s order allowing the clinic to operate without a state license is unconstitutional.

“We are very disappointed in the Court’s denial of Indiana’s licensing appeal, but are cautiously optimistic that the ultrasound and parental notification appeals will find success in the Seventh Circuit”, states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter. “We are very thankful for the relentless effort Attorney General Curtis Hill has given to defending Indiana’s pro-life laws in the courts.”

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2,411 Aborted Babies To Receive Humane Final Burial On Wednesday in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, IN – The Indiana Office of Attorney General announced today that the 2,411 aborted babies discovered on the property of late abortionist Dr. Ulrich Klopfer will be memorialized at a burial service this Wednesday, February 12, at Southlawn Cemetery in South Bend.  The service will commence at 1 p.m. EST.  Attorney General Curtis Hill will offer remarks on behalf of the State of Indiana.

“This is a heartbreaking reminder that the world lost something of enormous value when these little lives were cut short by abortion,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter.  “We pray that the dignified and humane burial of these children is not the end of their story, but will serve as a constant reminder why we must always speak up when the God-given value of human life is denied.”

Indiana law, recently upheld by the United States Supreme Court, requires the humane burial or cremation of babies aborted in Indiana.  Prior to enforcement of the 2016 law, aborted babies in Indiana, as in most states today, were discarded as common medical waste.

“We are grateful but saddened for this opportunity to mourn for the lives lost and the families broken by the violence of abortion. This is a tangible reminder of the inhumanity and horror of the abortion industry. Abortion is the ultimate form of dehumanization; it poisons, dismembers, and kills the most innocent among us,” states Right to Life of Michiana Executive Director Jackie Appleman. “We are burying 2,411 human remains; we are not burying 2,411 ‘missed periods’, ‘pregnancy tissue’, or ‘uterine contents’.”

For those unable to attend on Wednesday, Right to Life Michiana, Right to Life Northeast Indiana, and Lake County Right to Life will host a memorial service at Southlawn Cemetery on Sunday, February 23rd at 3:00 pm..

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Hill Appeals Federal Judge’s Ruling on South Bend Abortion Facility

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INDIANAPOLIS – Yesterday, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill filed an appeal to federal judge Sarah Evans Barker’s May 31 ruling that allows Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA) to begin doing abortions in South Bend.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to Attorney General Hill for defending the unborn and their mothers,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “If WWHA starts doing abortions without a license, women will be at risk in South Bend. We’re grateful to Attorney General Hill for standing up to this activist court ruling.”

Hill stated, “Criminal and civil penalties can only punish violations of the law after they occur. Licensing makes violations less likely to happen in the first place. This is precisely why states have licensed the legal and medical professions since the mid-19th century. Requiring abortion clinics to be licensed facilities is entirely reasonable and constitutional. For that matter, it’s the very least we should do to protect the health of women and unborn children.”

Read Indiana Right to Life’s statement on Evan Barker’s May 31 ruling.  

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.