Judge Halts Indiana's Latest Anti-Abortion Law

Jun 28, 2018

A federal judge says Indiana’s latest anti-abortion law is likely too vague to enforce.

The judge Thursday temporarily halted the state’s new abortion complication reporting law from taking effect.

The 2018 law requires any physician to report to the state “any adverse physical or psychological condition” that results from an abortion. And it lists 26 examples.

The state argues it needs to know about abortion complications to better inform women of the procedure's risks.

Planned Parenthood, represented by the ACLU of Indiana, challenged the law in April. It argued it couldn't comply with the law because it didn't know exactly what to report.

Judge Richard Young agrees. He says the law is too broad and too vague. He says “any…condition” encompasses too wide a list – and Young notes even some of the 26 examples are vague. For instance, he points to “emotional complications.”

The law also imposes criminal penalties for any physician that doesn’t comply – which Young says gives extra cause for her decision to temporarily halt the likely unconstitutional statute.

This is the seventh lawsuit to challenge an Indiana anti-abortion law since 2011. Federal courts have ruled against the state in each one.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story named the judge who halted Indiana's abortion reporting law as Tanya Walton Pratt. That was incorrect. It was instead Judge Richard Young.