Judicial

Indiana Attorney General Rokita successfully defends law requiring reporting of abortion complications

Dismissal of lawsuit is fifth pro-life win since U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade

Attorney General Todd Rokita has won the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging an Indiana law requiring physicians, hospitals and abortion clinics to report 25 listed abortion complications to the Indiana Department of Health.

“We are making strong and steady progress in protecting women’s health and safeguarding unborn children,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Day by day, we are building a culture that respects the lives and well-being of all Hoosiers.”

Planned Parenthood’s patients historically have been able to choose from two different methods of first-trimester abortion — chemical (medication) abortion and surgical abortion by aspiration (suction). Both methods have caused serious complications at times.

Chemical abortions can result in infection, excessive vaginal bleeding, failure to terminate the pregnancy and incomplete abortion. Complications of aspiration abortion may include uterine perforation, cervical laceration, infection, excessive vaginal bleeding, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, renal failure, shock, amniotic fluid embolism and coma.

In some cases, both methods of abortion have even resulted in women’s deaths.

“The legislature had a legitimate concern that researchers have insufficient data available to study the safety of abortion,” Attorney General Rokita said. “This law advances the causes of compassion, common sense, medical science and public health.”

Planned Parenthood first challenged the law requiring reporting of complications in 2018. They won at the district-court level, but Indiana then won in appellate court. Most recently, Planned Parenthood renewed the challenge at the district-court level based on a different legal argument.

Previously, Indiana also won a final judgment on another aspect of the same lawsuit — a challenge to the state’s requirement for annual inspections of abortion clinics.

“I am grateful to our team for their persistence over many years in defending good laws protecting the sanctity of life and the health of women,” Attorney General Rokita said. “We will keep pressing onward in this important work.”

The dismissal of this lawsuit represents Attorney General Rokita’s fifth legal victory on behalf of Indiana’s pro-life laws since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Documents related to the dismissal of this case are linked here and here.

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