ACLU of Indiana, Planned Parenthood discuss HEA 1337 lawsuit 

click to enlarge ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky president and CEO Betty Cockrum address the media about the lawsuit challenging HEA 1337. - AMBER STEARNS
  • ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky president and CEO Betty Cockrum address the media about the lawsuit challenging HEA 1337.
  • Amber Stearns

“The law does not value life, it values birth.”

Betty Cockrum, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky shared her thoughts on HEA 1337.

Cockrum and ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk addressed the media about the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court Thursday. The suit alleges Indiana’s new restrictions and provisions regarding abortion are unconstitutional.

The case has been assigned to Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.

RELATED: ACLU of Indiana files lawsuit over new abortion law

“This statute does something that the U.S. Supreme Court has said repeatedly it cannot do,” said Falk. “It is an attempt by the state of Indiana to interfere with and actually prohibit a woman’s right to determine whether or not to have an abortion. That is a right the U.S. Supreme Court has said a woman absolutely has and cannot be interfered with and certainly not prohibited by the state in the first trimester of the pregnancy.”

The ACLU attorney said they have asked the court to set a preliminary injunction hearing as soon as possible so the case can be heard and decided before July 1 when the law is set to take effect.

“We find this law abysmal. It is intrusive. It is dangerous. It is failing public health policy,” said Cockrum. “It raises more questions than answers.”

Cockrum added that the intent of the legislation is not about civil rights, but rather advancing the pro-life agenda.

“What needs to be made abundantly clear is that what this is really about is making abortion go away entirely,” said Cockrum. “It has nothing to do with doing better for Hoosier families; it has nothing to do with serving women and making sure that they have the healthcare that they need.”

According to Falk, the pro-life agenda doesn’t matter because the U.S. Supreme Court ended the debate about abortion in 1973.

“This isn’t a debate. This is the law,” said Falk. “ The Supreme Court has said you cannot prohibit a woman’s right to obtain an abortion and you cannot invade a woman’s right to privacy.”

When asked how confident they were about the suit’s success in court, Falk wouldn’t speculate about the case’s chances, but rather referred back to case law and the rights dictated by the Supreme Court.

“I’m sleeping reasonably well at night at this point,” said Cockrum to the same question.

If history is any predictor of the future, then the odds are certainly in their favor. In cases filed by the ACLU of Indiana on behalf of Planned Parenthood over the last 5 years, the courts have ruled consistently in favor of civil liberty.

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Amber Stearns

Amber Stearns

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Amber Stearns was born, raised, and educated right here in Indianapolis. She holds a B.S. in Communications from the University of Indianapolis (1995). Following a 20-year career in radio news in Indiana, Amber joined NUVO as News Editor in 2014.

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