On Wednesday, an Indiana judge issued a preliminary injunction against an Indiana law that would allow parents more latitude if their minor daughter sought an abortion.
The Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 404 requires abortion providers to obtain proof of consent from a parent or legal guardian before a minor daughter could obtain an abortion. If a minor asked a judge for permission to get an abortion, the law would allow parents to be involved. The law would change the current requirement of reporting underage abortions to the Indiana State Department of Health and Indiana Department of Child Services for girls under 14 to girls under 16.
In issuing the injunction, Judge Sarah Evans Barker was responding in a case against the law promoted by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Barker argued against the provision of the law that would let a judge decide if parents could be informed when their daughter sought permission for an abortion from a judge. Barker said girls asking a court for consent are sometimes subject to threats of abuse, intimidation, or physical violence from their parents. Barker ruled as too vague another provision requiring people asserting they were the girl’s parents to prove beyond a doubt they were the girl’s parents. A third provision barred anyone, including Planned Parenthood from telling a minor about abortion options outside of Indiana; Barker ruled that language violated the First Amendment.
Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life, told Life News, “Indiana’s new parental rights law was passed by a majority of our duly elected state legislators and signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb. Hoosiers are tired of seeing activist judges legislate abortion from the bench. Planned Parenthood runs straight to the courts anytime they find a law they don’t like. Planned Parenthood is not winning in the court of public opinion and their clients are leaving them in droves, but they can always count on the judicial branch to hand them a victory. We urge the state to continue to defend SEA 404.”