INDIANAPOLIS — It’s been nearly one week since Indiana’s near-total abortion ban was put into legal limbo following a last-minute challenge from the ACLU of Indiana, but the Indiana Supreme Court has yet to grant or deny the ACLU of Indiana’s petition for a rehearing.
For this to happen, it would take a new challenge of the ban back to the circuit court that first heard the case. Legal experts say if that happens, this process could stretch on for years. It’s of little comfort to advocates helping Hoosiers in need of abortion care amid an uncertain legal landscape.
”We have a lot more questions than we have answers,” Beth White, CEO & President of ICESAHT (Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault & Human Trafficking), said.
White works with victims of rape and incest on a daily basis. She said she’s reached out to several hospitals over the past year to get a better idea of what standard protocols for abortion care will look like under a near-total ban but has had little success.
”I am very, very concerned that this, this network of healthcare providers in Indiana is just not providing the remedy that people need,” White said.
However, several hospital networks say they’ve been proactively preparing. Last fall, IU Health created a 24/7 rapid response team in anticipation of the law going into effect, saying in part:
- “…The rapid response team consists of a clinician, ethicist, and legal representative to assist providers…”
A spokesperson for the Indiana Hospital Association says it’s working to ensure compliance, saying in part:
- “…We remain committed to ensuring our patients have timely access to lifesaving treatment and that our trusted medical professionals have both clear guidance and clinical discretion to provide the best care to Hoosier moms and babies.”
Meanwhile, the ACLU of Indiana could be in for another lengthy legal battle.
”This process will most likely take months if not years,” Jody Madeira, a law professor at the Maurer School of Law, said.
Madeira said she expects the ACLU will be successful with a narrower challenge of the ban.
”The law as a whole will not be necessarily stripped and rewritten, but certain parts of it will be because it is very vague, and it doesn’t provide doctors and hospitals with much guidance,” Madeira said.