News From Terre Haute, Indiana

State News

March 5, 2013

ACLU vows to challenge Indiana abortion bill

INDIANAPOLIS — A controversial bill that imposes new state requirements on clinics that offer the abortion pill is likely headed for a constitutional challenge if passed and signed into law, as expected.

Opponents of the bill say it would force women seeking the abortion pill to undergo an invasive procedure known as a transvaginal ultrasound and would impose other restrictions that have been struck down by the federal courts.

Ken Falk, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, said the legislation will be challenged in court “as soon as it’s signed into law by the governor.”

If so, it would be the second abortion-related bill passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly over the last two years to be challenged in court.

Last November, a federal appeals court barred Indiana from enforcing a 2011 state law that would have stripped Medicaid funding from any health care provider that offered abortion services.

Falk brought that 2011 case against the state on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, which stood to lose funding for all health care services it provides because it also offers abortion services.

The current legislation, Senate Bill 371, which passed out of the Senate last week on a 33-16 vote, covers clinics that dispense an abortion-inducing drug, RU 486, which can only be used during the early weeks of pregnancy.

Women who receive the drug at the clinic would be required to have ultrasound. The bill doesn’t specify what type of ultrasound must be done. The bill’s author, Republican Sen. Travis Holdman, said he’s had several physicians tell him that a less invasive, abdominal ultrasound can be performed.

But Falk points to the testimony of several medical experts, including Dr. John Stutsman, an Indiana University School of Medicine professor and obstetrician-gynecologist, who told legislators that the bill would essentially force women seeking the procedure to undergo an invasive transvaginal procedure because the abortion pill is given early on in pregnancy, when the embryo or fetus is too small to be detected by an abdominal ultrasound.  

In a transvaginal ultrasound, a several-inch long probe is inserted through the birth canal into a woman’s uterus. Falk described it a “grossly invasive procedure” that violates the standards that U.S.  Supreme Court has set for how states can limit access to legal abortions.

The ultrasound issue is playing out in the courts. Several states now require women who have an abortion to have an ultrasound.

But in two states, North Carolina and Oklahoma, the mandatory ultrasound laws have been challenged in court. A federal court struck down the Oklahoma law, which would have required transvaginal ultrasounds in some cases, as “blatantly” unconstitutional. North Carolina’s law is on hold, after a federal court issued a temporary injunction. But a federal appeals court has decided to let Texas’ mandatory ultrasound law remain on the books.

Last year, the Virginia Legislature considered a bill that would mandate transvaginal ultrasounds for women having abortions, but pulled back after the state’s conservative Republican governor questioned whether the law was constitutional.

“The courts are split on the issue of mandating ultrasounds,” said Stephanie Toti, senior staff attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights.

State Rep. Sharon Negele, a freshman Republican from Attica who’s sponsoring the bill in the House, said “it’s premature” to be talking about the whether the bill is constitutional. “It’s still in the process,” Negele said. “We still have to debate in the House.”

But Falk’s concerns about the constitutionality of the bill in its current form are significant because of his track record: As head lawyer for the ACLU in Indiana, he’s successfully challenged a string of state laws that were popular were legislators but posed constitutional issues.

They include legislation that would have allowed police to stop and arrest people they suspected were illegal immigrants and a law that prohibited registered sex offenders from using social networking sites such as Facebook.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Pence leading annual governor’s motorcycle ride

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is leading the annual governor’s motorcycle ride from the Statehouse through southern Indiana.

    July 25, 2014

  • State asks judge to delay right-to-work ruling

    CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana attorney general’s office has asked a judge to put on hold his order striking down the state’s right-to-work law.

    July 25, 2014

  • Indiana chooses 5 counties for preschool program

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s three most populous counties are among five chosen for a pilot program that will allow low-income children in those areas to attend preschool as early as next year.

    July 22, 2014

  • More cases of chikungunya confirmed in Indiana

    INDIANAPOLIS — Six more Hoosiers have tested positive for the chikungunya virus, making a total of seven reported cases in the state. The majority of individuals have confirmed travel to the Caribbean, including four teens who were recently on mission trips to the area.

    July 17, 2014

  • Judge orders Indiana BMV to resume selling plates

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Marion County judge has ordered the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to resume issuing personalized license plates, but that doesn’t mean the agency will start doing so anytime soon.

    July 16, 2014

  • State reports budget surplus, $2 billion in reserves

    INDIANAPOLIS — As expected, the state closed its fiscal year with a budget surplus, due largely to spending cuts forced by Gov. Mike Pence.

    July 14, 2014

  • U.S. Attorney Hogsett announces resignation

    INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced in a news release today his resignation from office, effective July 31, 2014.

    July 14, 2014

  • State reports West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes

    INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials confirmed the first signs of West Nile virus activity in Indiana for 2014. Mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties have tested positive for West Nile virus. There have been no reported cases of West Nile virus in humans in the state this year.

    July 9, 2014

  • Pence orders memorials for officers who died

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has declared this week an official period of mourning after the loss of three law enforcement officers in the line of duty over eight days.

    July 8, 2014

  • 051713 BAYH SMILE.jpg Former governor Bayh weighs decision to run again

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Evan Bayh is keeping Indiana Democrats on hold.
    Party loyalists longing for a political savior to retake the governor's office have been waiting on Bayh ever since he abruptly decided to leave the U.S. Senate and political life three years ago.

    July 8, 2014 3 Photos

  • Deal set in ex-schools chief Bennett’s ethics case

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s State Ethics Commission is considering a settlement in the ethics case against former state schools Superintendent Tony Bennett.

    July 7, 2014

  • Lawmakers returning for ’corrections’ day

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State lawmakers are returning to Indianapolis for a day to fix critical mistakes left in the criminal sentencing overhaul legislation approved earlier this year.

    June 16, 2014

  • Constitutional convention backers meet in Indiana

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — About 100 lawmakers from 33 states are expected to gather at the Indiana Statehouse for discussions about how to call the first constitutional convention since the nation’s founding.

    June 12, 2014

  • Dickson stepping down as Indiana’s chief justice

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson is stepping down from that role but will remain as an associate justice.

    June 11, 2014

  • 10-digit dialing in 812 area code soon mandatory

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana utility officials say 10-digit dialing in southern Indiana’s 812 area code will become mandatory in September.

    June 11, 2014

  • Audit: Nearly 275 in Indiana await 1st VA visit

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An audit of VA hospitals and clinics nationwide has found that nearly 275 Indiana patients are still waiting for initial appointments at facilities in Indianapolis and northern Indiana 90 days or more after requesting them.

    June 9, 2014

  • Jackpot growth slowing down for Hoosier Lotto

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State lottery officials are blaming a big drop in ticket sales for a decision to slash the rate at which Hoosier Lotto jackpots grow.

    June 6, 2014

  • Our view: Throw open the doors

    As allegations and scandals continue to explode about hidden wait lists and cooked books at VA medical care facilities across the country, with hints of even more heinous findings to come, we have to wonder why it's business as usual in our nation's

    May 29, 2014

  • Indiana’s 4 largest cities see population surges

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A new report by an Indiana University research group says Indiana’s four largest cities are in the midst of some big population increases.

    May 22, 2014

  • Appeals court: Students can sue over school attack

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Court of Appeals says two students hurt in a school shooting can sue the school district over their injuries.

    May 20, 2014

  • State health commissioner urges hepatitis testing

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s health commissioner is urging Hoosiers to educate themselves about the dangers of viral hepatitis and to get tested for the disease.

    May 19, 2014

  • Zoeller: Robocall complaints are down in Indiana

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says his office is receiving almost half as many complaints a month about robocalls as it did two years ago, but says there’s more work to be done.

    May 19, 2014

  • High court to hear appeal of right-to-work law

    MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments in September on Indiana’s appeal of a judge’s ruling declaring the state’s right-to-work law unconstitutional.

    May 9, 2014

  • Judge: Indiana must still recognize 1 gay marriage

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The state of Indiana must recognize a lesbian couple’s out-of-state marriage throughout their legal fight to have one of the women named as a spouse on her terminally ill partner’s death certificate, a judge ruled today. The Indiana attorney general’s office said it would appeal.

    May 8, 2014

  • Judge says Indiana BMV wrongly pulled ‘0INK’ plate

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A police officer has the right to buy a vanity license plate reading “0INK,” an Indiana judge has said in a ruling that extends far beyond one plate.

    May 8, 2014

  • Zoeller: Let legislatures choose Senate candidates

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Senate candidates in Indiana would be nominated by the General Assembly instead of selected by voters in a primary if the state’s top legal officer has his way.

    May 5, 2014

  • Indiana, CDC push for more infant vaccinations

    AVON, Ind. (AP) — State and national health officials are pushing for parents to vaccinate their infants on time in the face of measles outbreaks.

    April 30, 2014

  • Painted bison to celebrate Indiana bicentennial

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Painted bison sculptures and quilted gardens are set to pop up in honor of Indiana’s bicentennial celebration.

    April 30, 2014

  • Indiana court upholds dismissal of ethics charges

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a judge’s decision to dismiss misconduct charges against the state’s former top utility regulator.

    April 29, 2014

  • Board approves Indiana’s Common Core replacement

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The State Board of Education has approved new math and English standards to replace the Common Core benchmarks in Indiana’s classrooms this fall.

    April 28, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity