INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional an Indiana law that aimed to require reports from medical providers to the state if they treat women for complications arising from abortions.
The ruling issued Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Richard Young comes two years after he granted a preliminary injunction blocking the law from taking effect following its 2018 passage by the Republican-dominated state Legislature.
Young sided with Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky in its challenge to the law, which lists 26 physical or psychological conditions that could prompt the reporting requirement for doctors or clinics. The law made failure to do so a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Young ruled the law was “unconstitutionally vague,” writing that it gave doctors no clear guidance on questions such as how long after an abortion they would need to report a woman’s depression or trouble with a later pregnancy.
“The statute simply lacks any standard to guide physicians in determining whether a condition qualifies as an abortion complication for purposes of reporting,” Young wrote. “The indeterminacy of the statute’s requirements denies fair notice to physicians and invites arbitrary enforcement by prosecutors.”