As Periods for Pence campaign grows, Planned Parenthood and ACLU sue Indiana over new abortion restrictions

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky claiming that Indiana’s new abortion restrictions are unconstitutional.

In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood asks a federal court to declare the law unconstitutional and block it from taking effect in July, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The law, HEA 1337, bans abortions sought in Indiana because of a fetus’ sex or race or because of a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of a disability, such as Down syndrome. Under the law, health care providers would be required to report the fetus’ sex and any diagnosis of a disability.

Doctors and nurses could face criminal charges, civil lawsuits or lose their medical licenses for performing an abortion sought for the aforementioned reasons. The law would not punish the person seeking the abortion.

Because of that Planned Parenthood claims the law violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit states that the law “imposes an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose an abortion because it bars that choice under certain circumstances, even if the pregnancy is in its early stages and the fetus is not viable,” as reported by the Indy Star.

Planned Parenthood also argues in the lawsuit that requiring health care providers to tell patients about an unconstitutional law is a violation of freedom of speech.

The lawsuit was expected as Planned Parenthood officials announced that they would seek a court injunction against the law soon after Gov. Mike Pence signed it. The lawsuit was filed this week as a protest called Periods for Pence gains momentum. Periods for Pence urges women to call, email and tweet Pence and State Rep. Casey Cox (R-Fort Wayne) about their periods and period-related issues.

The bill would also require miscarried and aborted fetuses to be cremated or buried.

Read more about the lawsuit in the full story from the Indianapolis Star.