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Federal judge shuts down Indiana's abortion ultrasound requirement

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -

Indiana Planned Parenthood is celebrating what they call a “victory.” A federal judge has blocked part of Indiana’s controversial abortion bill and some lawmakers are urging the state to appeal.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt blocked the mandate, stating there is a “lack of evidence” that requiring an ultrasound 18 hours before rather than the day of makes it more likely that a woman will choose not to have an abortion.

Pratt wrote in her opinion that women face burdens, including lengthy travel with this rule. Only 6 of the 17 Planned Parenthood locations in the state provide ultrasounds. So, two trips have to be made and low-income women would especially be affected.

State lawmakers who supported the rule dismiss this claim, saying courts haven’t found evidence that time and resources affect the choice.

Former Governor Mike Pence signed the bill into law last July. It was known as one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws.

Now, as Vice President, Pence stepped in as the tie-breaking vote last week to pass a bill that would allow states to deny federal funding to family planning clinics, like Planned Parenthood.

It will head to President Trump’s desk, where he will likely sign it.

Supporters of the mandate plan on urging Indiana Attorney General, Curtis Hill, to make an appeal. The state has 30 days to make a decision.

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