Attorney General Curtis Hill this week filed a brief in U.S. district court refuting arguments by Whole Woman’s Health Alliance that 25 sections and sub-sections of Indiana law dealing with abortion are unconstitutional.
“Indiana’s abortion regulations are carefully designed to further our important and legitimate interests in expressing respect for fetal life and promoting women’s health,” Attorney General Hill said. “At the same time, our laws respect the woman’s ultimate decision whether or not to bear a child. The federal district court should protect the delicate balance fashioned by the Supreme Court’s abortion precedents.”
Late last year, Whole Woman’s Health argued in a court filing that the entirety of Indiana’s abortion legislation imposes an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose whether or not to bear a child. At the heart of the abortion provider’s argument, Attorney General Hill said, is a gross misinterpretation of the U.S. Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
Whole Woman’s Health’s latest claim, he said, “represents an attempt by an abortion provider to exploit the Supreme Court’s decision as a weapon to strike down entire state regulatory regimes, even if those laws have been enforced and upheld for years.”
The abortion provider’s expansive claims show disregard for existing case law, he added.
“Indeed, Whole Woman’s Health’s approach cuts to the very heart of the Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence,” Attorney General Hill said. “It assumes no abortion dispute can ever be truly settled, claiming that no matter how many times an abortion regulation is upheld, it can always be challenged again — at trial — on the grounds that changed circumstances have made the previously valid law unconstitutional.”
Whole Woman’s Health’s contention that Indiana law creates undue burdens on the right to an abortion is based on unfounded speculation rather than the actual effects of Indiana’s regulations, Attorney General Hill said. Whole Woman’s Health, he noted, has even conceded that it failed to show that Indiana’s laws have prevented Hoosier women from accessing abortion.
“If accepted, these arguments would throw abortion jurisprudence into chaos,” Attorney General Hill said.