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Split decision from federal court throws out some Indiana abortion restrictions

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- A mixed ruling from a U.S. District Court senior judge on Tuesday blocks Indiana from enforcing some of its restrictions on matters related to abortion.

The same ruling, however, upholds other Indiana laws and regulations.

Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker permanently enjoins the State from prohibiting the use of telemedicine to dispense an abortion-inducing drug; requiring providers to inform women that "objective scientific information shows that a fetus can feel pain" at or before 20 weeks post-fertilization; and requiring providers to distribute a brochure on "studies (that) show that mothers who choose to carry their baby to term recover to baseline mental health more quickly than those who aborted due to fetal abnormality."

Other laws were allowed to stand. They include hospital admission requirements for doctors and pre-abortion ultrasounds.

The case was filed by the Whole Woman's Health Alliance. It named Attorney General Todd Rokita, Health Commissioner Kristina Box and the head of the Indiana Medical Licensing Board among the defendants.

The matter was heard in the Southern District of Indiana.

In response to the ruling, the President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, Mike Fichter, accused Barker of "judicial activism" and claimed that "communities like Fort Wayne and Evansville (are) clearly in the crosshairs for abortion business expansion."


Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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