The ACLU was in court Monday to ask a judge to prevent Indiana’s latest anti-abortion law from going into effect – it would largely ban the most common form of second trimester abortions from being performed in Indiana.
The 2019 law largely bans the second trimester procedures known as dilation and evacuation abortions, or D&Es. Doctors who perform D&Es would be subject to a Level 5 felony – and could be sued in civil court by the woman who undergoes the procedure, the father of the fetus, and the woman’s parents.
The ACLU is representing Dr. Caitlin Bernard – who is one of two doctors in the state performing the procedure. She says she felt an obligation to sue the state on behalf of her patients.
“Anything that is intruding into my practice and being able to take care of my patients, I need to speak up and fight,” Bernard says.
Lawmakers who supported the ban called the procedure “barbaric.” Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who is one of two physicians in the state who performs the procedure, says that concern is less about women’s health and more about politics.
“Using that type of language makes people feel uncomfortable about something that is in fact a medical procedure," Bernard says. "And therefore, people feel more comfortable in legislating against it the more uncomfortable they feel with it.”
The law goes into effect on July 1. Federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker said at the conclusion of the hearing she would make a decision before that date.