Federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker blocked a new law in Indiana that would make it a felony for doctors to perform second trimester abortions just days before it was set to go into effect.
The law, which would have come into force on July 1, is not criminalizing all second trimester abortions, but it is being criticized for prohibiting one of the safest and most effective procedures, IndyStar reports. After issuing the temporary injunction, Barker said in a statement the law “prohibits physicians from utilizing the most common, safest, often most cost effective, and best understood method of second trimester abortion, requiring them instead to resort to alternatives that are medically riskier, more costly, less reliable, and in some instances simply unavailable, while accomplishing little more than expressing hostility towards the constitutionally fundamental right of women to control their own reproductive lives.”
During a hearing earlier this month, Barker questioned the reasoning behind why Indiana would want to eliminate dilatation and evacuation abortions, leaving women with “highly risky,” alternative procedures such as prematurely inducing labor or the injection of fatal drugs, the Associated Press reported.
Indiana legislature passed the law in April. Should the new law be implemented, doctors who perform dilation and evacuation abortions could face up to six years in prison as well as felony charges. American Civil Liberties Union lawyers sued the state on behalf of two doctors arguing that this new law would put a “substantial and unwarranted burden on women’s ability to obtain second-trimester, pre-viability abortions.” Attorneys representing the state of Indiana maintain that the state has the authority to limit types of abortion procedures that are made available.
The preliminary injunction doesn’t permanently prevent the law from being implemented; however, it does create an opportunity for the law to be reconsidered or altered. Until there has been a chance for a new hearing, the previous laws will be upheld.