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Planned Parenthood Sues to Block Law Requiring Abortion-Clinic Inspections

Signs at a Planned Parenthood rally in Austin, Texas, April 2017. (Reuters photo: Ilana Panich-Linsman)

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky filed suit against Indiana officials Monday, challenging a new law that they argue places unconstitutional constraints on abortion providers.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana on behalf of Planned Parenthood, targets a provision requiring that abortion providers furnish an annual report for the Indiana Department of Health detailing any and all “abortion complications” that arose that year.

The groups are also challenging the constitutionality of a provision that mandates annual Department of Health inspections for all abortion providers in the state.

The abortion-complications provision creates “vague and uncertain standards” and violates the Constitution’s due-process and equal-protection clauses, according to the lawsuit, which was obtained by the Associated Press.

Under the new law, which is set to take effect in July, abortion providers would be required to report a broad range of complications, including the emotional and psychological trauma that might occur years after an abortion, and could face a $1,000 fine for failing to comply.

The law “adds unnecessary restrictions to Indiana’s licensing requirements for abortion providers and is the perfect example of government intrusion into the sacred relationship between doctors and their patients,” Christie Gillespie, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said in March.

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