Indiana’s second trimester abortion ban will continue after a federal court sided with the state Friday to uphold the ban.
Dilation and evacuation abortions, which are used during and after the second trimester of pregnancy, were banned under Indiana law in 2019. The law makes it a Level 5 felony to perform the procedure except in cases where the health or life of the pregnant person is in danger. The pregnant person that receives an abortion cannot be charged under the law.
Level 5 felonies in Indiana carry a sentence of one to six years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
After the law was passed, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in 2019 to overturn it. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana sided with the ACLU, issuing an injunction that prevented Indiana from enforcing the law. However, Judge Sarah Evans Barker lifted the injunction in June 2022 at the request of Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, allowing the ban to take place following the federal overturn of Roe v. Wade earlier that year.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard previously claimed Indiana’s ban on dilation and evacuation abortions unduly burdens a right to abortion under the 14th Amendment’s due process clause. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted Indiana judgement on the pleading, but Bernard may be able to file a new claim stating dilation and evacuation abortions violates a person’s right to bodily integrity, Barker said in a March 31 opinion.
The state’s near-total abortion ban, passed in 2022, is currently on hold while the law is being challenged in court. That law would prohibit abortions except in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal anomalies and if the pregnant person’s life is at risk. However, abortions are currently legal up to 20 weeks in Indiana under the injunction, following the old abortion law.