By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
An Indiana law banning abortion at all stages of pregnancy with limited exceptions is now in effect, making Indiana the latest state to enact restrictions on the procedure after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade.
The law passed over the summer in a special session, when Indiana became the first state to pass a restrictive abortion law after the court ruling.
The law provides exceptions to save the woman’s life, prevent any serious risk to the woman’s health and for fatal fetal anomalies, up to 20 weeks after fertilization. It also allows exceptions for certain abortions if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest during the first 10 weeks after fertilization.
By law, abortion clinics are no longer state-licensed facilities and cannot offer abortions. The law now requires that all abortions be performed in an approved hospital or in an outpatient ambulatory surgery center majority owned by an approved hospital.
Abortion providers who break the law face a criminal penalty of up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Medical abortion is already banned in the state after eight weeks of post-fertilization age.
Abortion providers and a nonprofit that operates a pregnancy resource center in the state filed a lawsuit last month, seeking to block the ban from taking effect.
They argue that the law “will infringe on the Hoosiers’ right to privacy, violate Indiana’s Guarantee of Equal Privileges and Immunities, and violate the Constitution’s Due Process Clause by its language unconstitutionally vague”.
“Hoosiers who experience or are at risk of experiencing pregnancy complications that could seriously and permanently harm their health, but who do not meet the limited exception for serious health risks set out in SB 1, will be required to remain pregnant and suffer serious, life-threatening health problems. long been harmful to their health,” they said in their lawsuit filed in Monroe Circuit Court on Aug. 31.
“Even patients whose pregnancies should be eligible for the narrow health or life exception of SB 1 may still be unable to obtain an abortion because doctors will credibly fear that they will be prosecuted for the exercise of their professional medical judgment if government officials disagree with their assessment of a patient’s condition.
A hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for Monday. The plaintiffs also asked the court for a temporary restraining order.
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