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Planned Parenthood of IN & KY suing to block state law

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) is suing the State of Indiana, arguing that a piece of legislation passed earlier this year (SEA 371) singles out one health center in Lafayette. PPINK calls the new regulations discriminatory and unconstitutional.

“The additional restrictions in this new law are in no way related to patient safety,” said Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of PPINK. “This law is clearly part of a coordinated national effort to end access to safe, legal abortion by trying to shut down Planned Parenthood health care centers.”

More from the news release announcing the filing of the lawsuit:

Non-surgical abortion, an early-term procedure involving a patient taking a pill in the presence of a physician, is already highly regulated. Among the restrictions in SEA371 are requirements that facilities offering non-surgical abortions meet the same licensing standards as facilities licensed to offer surgical abortions, beginning Jan. 1, 2014. The Planned Parenthood Lafayette health center, at 964 Mezzanine Drive, would be required to meet surgical standards -- including separate procedure, recovery and scrub rooms -- even though no surgical procedures are performed at the health center. SEA 371 exempts physicians’ offices from the new requirements, even though physicians’ offices may provide patients with mifepristone, the same medication prescribed at the Planned Parenthood Lafayette health center. “This piece of legislation is aimed at one non-surgical abortion facility in Indiana – our health center in Lafayette,” Cockrum continued. “We have been providing health care for more than 40 years in Lafayette, and we will continue to do so.” PPINK will request that the U.S. District Court issue an injunction to stop the state regulations from taking effect. “These legislative changes specifically targeting Planned Parenthood’s Lafayette health center are not reasonably related to any legitimate purpose,” said Ken Falk, legal director of ACLU of Indiana, which is representing PPINK in this case. “The laws irrationally and invidiously discriminate against Planned Parenthood and pose a significant and unnecessary burden that violates the Constitution’s guarantees of privacy, due process and equal protection.”

Indiana Right to Life President and CEO, Mike Fichter, released the following statement on the legality of Senate Enrolled Act 371 after learning of a lawsuit filed against the bill.

"Today's lawsuit comes as no surprise because Planned Parenthood wants to protect its abortion business. It's clear that Planned Parenthood sees any amount of common sense oversight as too much oversight. If Planned Parenthood truly cared about women's health, they would desire all abortion facilities, even facilities they do not operate, to meet a basic standard. "The state is well within its bounds on Senate Enrolled Act 371. If Planned Parenthood's lawsuit advances to any court, we believe any judge will recognize the authority of the state to put this law into effect."

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