INDIANAPOLIS — On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court returned a law back to federal appeals court for reconsideration that could restrict minors’ access to abortion without parental notification in Indiana.
The law, which requires parental notification even if a court decides a minor is mature enough to have an abortion, had originally been blocked in 2019 as part of the Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky decision. Earlier in the week, Attorney General Todd Rokita asked the U.S. district court to lift the injunction.
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme court overturning Roe v. Wade, the high court has vacated the previous judgment that blocked the Indiana law and sent it back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to be reconsidered in light of the nation dividing Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision.
“Following the landmark Dobbs decision, we eagerly anticipate clearer paths for Indiana’s commonsense laws protecting unborn children and their mothers,” Attorney General Todd Rokita said. “We are grateful for the new day that has dawned, and we will remain steadfast in our fight for life.”
Planned Parenthood responded, however, by calling the proposed Indiana law cruel and misguided, warning that passing the law would jeopardize the safety of minors.
“While most young people seeking an abortion involve a parent in their decision, some come from abusive and unsupportive families. It is those young people who will be most harmed by Indiana’s law. This law further jeopardizes young people’s health and safety, especially those who are people of color, low income, or LGBTQ+, by imposing additional, burdensome regulations that only push abortion access further out of reach and later in pregnancy — if they can access it at all,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates — IN and American Civil Liberties Union — IN released the following statement in response to the decision:
“Youth are fully capable of making their own decisions about their futures, and abortion providers are trained to support them in doing so. This law is an unconscionable intrusion into patients’ lives and will force health professionals to delay care and disregard their patients’ confidentiality — even when that could be dangerous for their patient’s safety. State laws that mandate parental consent contradict the ethical and professional training of medical professionals, and, in some terrible cases, expose a young person to dangerous situations like abuse. In families where there is a serious lack of communication and dysfunction, a minor’s health and wellbeing is being placed at risk because of political propaganda. Indiana should be doing everything possible to protect Hoosier youth, not placing them in harm’s way. This is just the beginning of attempts to further restrict abortion access in Indiana and we will continue to evaluate every avenue available to defend abortion access in the state.”
Alliance Defending Freedom released the following statement in response to the decision:
“The well-being of both babies and young women is more important than the bottom line of abortionists. All this law has sought to do is uphold the duty and desire of parents to protect their own children rather than allow them to be taken advantage of by others. We trust that the 7th Circuit will conclude, now that the Supreme Court has returned policy decisions of this sort to the states, that Indiana’s law ensuring that parents have the opportunity to be involved in their children’s life-changing decisions is legitimate. No one should desire to prevent a pregnant mother from understanding the true implications of an abortion procedure.”
On Thursday, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said he has no “red lines” when it comes to limits on abortion in Indiana. A special session for Indiana legislators is set to be held on July 25 which will discuss abortion legislation along with inflation relief.
In the wake of the Dobbs decision and Roe v. Wade being overturned, several states have moved to ban abortions or limit access to abortions. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas went even further by calling on overturning rights that affirm access to contraceptives.
While some proponents of banning abortions point to religion as a reason for their support, other religious leaders argue the right to abortions is also included in their religious freedoms which, they argue, are now being infringed upon.