Jul 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Federal judge blocks Indiana's "abortion reversal" law

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the legislation into law in April. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked a controversial Indiana law that would require doctors to tell women undergoing drug-induced abortions about a disputed treatment for "reversing" the abortion process, AP reports.

Why it matters: U.S. District Judge James Patrick Hanlon's temporary injunction puts the law on hold just one day before it was set to take effect, per the Indy Star.

The state of play: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed the bill into law in April, but abortion-rights groups filed a lawsuit arguing that it would confuse patients and heighten the stigma around abortion. They also said it would force doctors to tell patients about a treatment that isn't backed by science, per AP.

  • Republican lawmakers in favor of the law have argued that it would give women necessary information about halting abortions if they changed their minds.
  • The reversal method involves patients taking a different medication than the second of the two drugs involved in a drug-induced abortion, per AP.

The big picture: Hanlon, an appointee of former President Trump, wrote in his decision that there is a "reasonable likelihood" that the law would violate the free-speech rights of abortion providers and that the defense hadn't proven the scientific effectiveness of the reversal process, according to AP.

  • “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,” Hanlon wrote.

Of note: Six states — Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah — already have similar laws in place, and a similar requirement is set to take effect in West Virginia in July, per AP.

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