INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana law that would require Planned Parenthood
to stop performing drug-induced abortions at a Lafayette clinic or make
significant upgrades to the facility wouldn't block women's access to the
procedure, attorneys for the state contend.
attorney general's office filed a brief late Monday supporting its request
for summary judgment in the case. Both the state and the American Civil
Liberties Union of Indiana asked U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
to rule in their favor after she issued a preliminary injunction in
November blocking the 2013 law from taking effect.
The law would
require clinics that only perform drug-induced abortions to meet the same
standards as those that perform surgical abortions by adding a recovery
room and surgical equipment and making other upgrades. While some Planned
Parenthood clinics in Indiana offer both procedures, the Lafayette clinic
only performs drug-induced abortions.
attorneys say that although the law might require some women to travel
farther to obtain an abortion, that isn't illegal and the ACLU failed to
show it would prevent anyone from seeking the procedure.
Court has never held that a woman is entitled to the abortion method of
her choice," the state's attorneys argued.
The ACLU argued
in its previous brief that the law would "irrationally" require clinics
that offer medication-induced abortions to meet the same requirements as
surgical clinics, whether or not they perform surgeries. But the law would
not require doctor's offices that prescribe abortion pills to meet the
same standards as long as abortion pills are not their main business, the
group said. The ACLU said that violates the constitutional guarantee of
The state argued
in its brief Monday that legislators have the constitutional power to
treat abortion clinics and physicians' offices differently.
the head of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said if the law is
allowed to take effect, women in the Lafayette area seeking a drug-induced
abortion would have to travel more than an hour to Indianapolis or to
Merrillville in northwest Indiana to obtain one, because clinics there
offer both drug-induced and surgical abortions. That would create a
barrier to abortion for women, the ACLU contends.
If the state wins
the case, Cockrum said Planned Parenthood would have to decide whether to
convert the clinic so it could offer surgical abortions or to stop
offering abortions there. But Planned Parenthood does more in the interest
of reproductive health and contraception than offer abortions, she said.
"We will not
close the Lafayette health center," Cockrum said.