Office of Indiana AG Todd Rokita files motion for stay pending appeal in Whole Woman’s Health Alliance suit

By Indiana Right to Life

Editor’s note. On July 10th, Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, issued a permanent injunction barring state employees from enforcing or administering six abortion-related provisions. The following day, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita appealed the federal judge’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Indiana Right to Life is applauding the motion for stay pending appeal filed last week by the office of Attorney General Todd Rokita in Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, et al. v. Rokita, et al.

The Motion in part reads: “The State has a strong likelihood of prevailing against the permanent injunction on appeal.

“The Court’s decision [by Judge Sarah Evans Barker] to strike down the State’s physician-only requirement for medication abortions contravenes Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit precedent approving the restriction of abortion to licensed physicians and relies on no data that would justify a departure from those decisions.

“Likewise, the Court’s decision to overturn the second trimester hospitalization/ASC [ambulatory surgery center] requirement runs afoul of binding Supreme Court precedent and is reversible on that basis. Further, in holding that the in-person counseling requirement, the telemedicine ban, and the physical examination requirement each impose an undue burden, the Court effectively found a constitutional mandate to adopt modern telemedicine.”

Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter said

“This motion makes it clear the state of Indiana is going to fight to defend our state’s pro-life laws.  We believe the victory gained by Indiana’s abortion businesses in district court will be short-lived and that Indiana’s laws will prevail on appeal.  We can only hope and pray a stay is quickly issued to stem the damages this injunction may inflict on unborn children and their moms.”

According to the Indiana Lawyer

Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana handed down 158 pages of findings of fact and conclusions of law Aug. 10 in Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, et al. v. Rokita, et al., 1:18-cv-1904. She also issued a permanent injunction against multiple sections of the Indiana Code.

Virginia-based Whole Woman’s Health Alliance filed the lawsuit in 2018 as it fought the denial of a license to open an abortion clinic in South Bend….

On Aug. 11, Rokita’s office filed notice of appeal to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The notice also asks Barker to put on hold the injunction she issued preventing state officials from enforcing the telemedicine ban, along with state laws requiring in-person examinations by a doctor before medication abortions and a prohibition on second-trimester abortions outside hospitals or surgery centers.