In March of 2016, then-Governor of Indiana Mike Pence, signed House bill 1337 into law. The controversial law, which required that women must undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hour prior to having an abortion in the state of Indiana, was then blocked in a ruling by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in April of 2017.
Yesterday, in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Ilana Rovner upheld the 2017 decision, writing that the law “constitutes an undue burden on those seeking an abortion,” in that it forces some women to travel long distances and incur high expenses.
The court also added that “Women, like all humans, are intellectual creatures with the ability to reason, consider, ponder, and challenge their own ideas and those of others,” and that “the usual manner in which we seek to persuade is by rhetoric not barriers.”
The court went on to state that there is no evidence to show that the waiting period serves a good purpose, stating that, “the requirement that women have the ultrasound eighteen hours prior to the abortion places a large barrier to access without any evidence that it serves the intended goal of persuading women to carry a pregnancy to term. Instead, it appears that its only effect is to place barriers between a woman who wishes to exercise her right to an abortion and her ability to do so.”
Jane Henegar of The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana said that the ruling “affirms that deeply personal decisions about abortion should be made by women in consultation with their doctors.”
Undoubtedly pro-choice advocates in the state of Indiana are quite happy about this ruling today.