Judge Sarah Evans Barker – a Ronald Reagan appointee – struck down several of Indiana's abortion laws on Tuesday, calling them unconstitutional. Among the laws affected by Barker's ruling are:
- Physician-only requirement for chemical abortions
- Ban on use of telemedicine for chemical abortions
- The requirement that second trimester abortions must be done in hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers
- Informed consent on fetal pain
- Informed consent on when physical life begins
- Multiple physical requirements for health and safety
"This is a horrific ruling and we're really disappointed in the result," says Jackie Appleman of Right to Life Michiana. "It's going to put women's health and safety at risk – and of course, many more pre-born children will die."
The state attorney general's office can appeal the decision. If that's the case, arguments would be held at a time to be determined inside the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
"Everything was about money," Appleman says in reference to the arguments from the pro-abortion side. "It's disgusting."
Planned Parenthood and Whole Woman's Health Alliance challenged the laws. While those groups will continue to offer services, Appleman says pro-life groups in Indiana will continue their educational and outreach efforts.
"Women need support, not abortion; and we as a pro-life community, as individuals, need to continue offering women support and safe alternatives and [continue] speaking the truth about the destruction and horrors of abortion to the people around us," Appleman tells AFN.
"What's truly going to stop abortion is changing hearts and minds," the pro-lifer emphasizes. "… Being that support for the women in your lives and being courageous and speaking truth about the destruction of abortion is what we need to change hearts and minds and to start changing our culture back to a pro-life culture."