A federal judge blocked an Indiana law that would have forced doctors to give dubious medical advice about reversing abortions

Advertisement
A federal judge blocked an Indiana law that would have forced doctors to give dubious medical advice about reversing abortions
Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in the morning as the court takes up a major abortion case focusing on whether a Texas law that imposes strict regulations on abortion doctors and clinic buildings interferes with the constitutional right of a woman to end her pregnancy, in Washington March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
  • A federal judge blocked an Indiana law that would have required doctors to give dubious medical advice about abortions.
  • The Wednesday decision will allow a lawsuit challenging the law to go through the state's court system.
  • The law would require doctors to tell women about a drug to stop the process halfway through.

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked an Indiana law that would have required doctors to tell women undergoing abortions disputed medical advice.

US District Judge James Patrick Hanlon in Indianapolis blocked the so-called "abortion reversal" law just before it was set to take effect. A lawsuit challenging the law filed by abortion-rights groups can now go through the court system, according to the Associated Press.

The Republican-backed law was set to take effect on Thursday, but the hold will now allow the challenging lawsuit to make its way through the legal system.

Advertisement

The law would have required doctors to tell women undergoing medication-induced abortions about a drug to stop the process halfway through. Health experts have said science doesn't support the drug's supposed benefits and that there is little safety information about the medication, according to the Associated Press.

The "reversal" in question would involve a woman undergoing a medication-induced abortion to take a different medication during the procedure instead of the second of the two drugs typically involved in the process.

Abortion-rights groups spearheading the lawsuit argue that the law would confuse patients and further cement the stigma associated with getting an abortion. Republican lawmakers in the GOP-controlled legislature asserted that the requirement would provide a woman obtaining a medication-induced abortion with information about halting the process should she change her mind.

Advertisement

Hanlon said in his Wednesday decision that he blocked the law because abortion-rights groups had a "reasonable likelihood" of proving the requirement would violate abortion providers' free speech rights.

Hanlon also noted a lack of evidence proving the medical information required under the law scientifically effective.

"While the State may require abortion providers to give a woman seeking an abortion certain types of information as part of the informed-consent process, that information must, at a minimum, be truthful and not misleading," he wrote.

Advertisement

Six other states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Utah, already have similar requirements in place, while a comparable requirement is slated to take effect in West Virginia in July, The AP reported. Similar laws in North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee have also been blocked by legal challenges.

{{}}