AG Curtis Hill Focus On Defending Constitutionality Ban On Dismemberment Abortions


Attorney General Curtis Hill said today that rather than appealing a federal district court’s June 28 preliminary injunction against Indiana’s dismemberment abortion ban, he will focus his office’s resources on the larger issue proceeding to summary judgment or trial — the inherent constitutionality of the ban itself.

Dismemberment abortions are second-trimester procedures in which physicians use forceps to rip live fetuses piece by piece from their mothers’ wombs. As they are being dismembered, the fetuses bleed to death.

Attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union, representing a physician who performs dismemberment abortions, filed a lawsuit in April challenging the constitutionality of Indiana’s ban on the procedure. The plaintiff in this case, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, performs dismemberment abortions at IU Health Methodist and Eskenazi hospitals, both in Indianapolis.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear a case involving an Alabama ban on dismemberment abortions held to be unconstitutional by a federal appellate court, but five other states — Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio — have ongoing cases concerning dismemberment bans.

“I remain committed to protecting the value and dignity of fetal life by defending Indiana’s law banning this brutal and inhumane procedure,” Attorney General Hill said. “At this juncture, I believe our best path forward in this case is to proceed to summary judgment as we continue to gather evidence and formulate strategy.”