January 6, 2021

Indiana Ultrasound Law Goes Into Effect After Four Years

photo credit: Viviana Rishe / Unsplash
Four years after being signed into law, an Indiana law requiring women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound 18 hours beforehand went into effect on Jan. 1.

The law was passed and signed by then-Governor Mike Pence in 2016. Planned Parenthood quickly took legal action to prevent the law from being enforced. In 2017, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt placed a preliminary injunction against the law's enforcement, and that injunction was upheld by an appeals court. After Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill filed to appeal the ruling, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the appeals court.

In August 2020, Planned Parenthood and the state of Indiana agreed to have the injunction vacated on Jan. 1. Planned Parenthood dropped its lawsuit, saying that it now had functional ultrasound machines at all of its locations.

In addition to showing pregnant women the humanity of the unborn children they are carrying, ultrasounds are also used by abortionists to accurately date the gestational age of the pregnancy. An abortionist who assumes an incorrect gestational age might choose a method of abortion that has a larger risk of medical complications for the mother. Additionally, ultrasounds will allow abortionists to diagnose abnormal pregnancies such as ectopic pregnancies. Certain abortion techniques can have major medical complications, including death, when used on a woman with an ectopic pregnancy.

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