October 27, 2021

Indiana abortion complications law takes effect after federal court decision

A 2018 law requires doctors to report a list of 25 “complications … arising from” abortions, including “psychological complications” like anxiety. And they face criminal penalties if they fail to do so.  - Brandon Smith/IPB News

A 2018 law requires doctors to report a list of 25 “complications … arising from” abortions, including “psychological complications” like anxiety. And they face criminal penalties if they fail to do so.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

An Indiana anti-abortion law that requires doctors to report a long list of supposed complications from abortion is taking effect.

That’s after a federal appeals court decision that overturned earlier rulings that had struck down the law.

A 2018 law, SEA 340, requires doctors to report a list of 25 "complications … arising from" abortions, including "psychological complications" like anxiety. And they face criminal penalties if they fail to do so.

Multiple courts halted that law, ruling it was too broad and vague to enforce. Lawmakers narrowed the law in 2019, limiting some of the broad language. But the list of complications remained.


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A federal court still struck it down – until the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided to uphold the law, finally letting it take effect.

The appeals court still acknowledged that much of the law was vague. But it said because abortion providers challenged the law before it took effect, they had a harder time winning in court.

The court noted that, once the law takes effect, if abortion providers can show the measure is unconstitutionally harming them, the law could still be struck down.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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