A federal judge blocked an Indiana law that would ban a second-trimester abortion procedure.
Just days before it was set to go into action, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker granted a preliminary injunction blocking the law. The move took place this Friday, and the law was set to go into effect on July 1. The law would have made it a felony for doctors to perform abortions during a woman’s second trimester.
The GOP-led state passed the law back in April. If doctors were found performing dilation and evacuation abortions, they could face felony charges with penalties of up to six years in prison.
According to CBS News, the law is referred to as “dismemberment abortion.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana sued the state on behalf of two doctors. ACLU attorneys argued that it would put a “substantial and unwarranted burden on women’s ability to obtain second-trimester, pre-viability abortions.”
On the other hand, Indiana’s attorneys called the procedure “brutal and inhumane.” But now, Barker’s decision comes only weeks after she allowed a South Bend abortion clinic to stay open after the Indiana State Department of Health had denied the operator a clinic license, saying it had not provided requested safety documentation.
During a hearing this month, Barker questioned why the state would force women seeking a second-trimester abortion to undergo “highly risky” alternative procedures, such as prematurely inducing labor or injecting fatal drugs into the fetus.
According to an Indiana State Department of Health report, the dilation and evacuation procedure accounted for 27, or 0.35 percent, of the 7,778 abortions performed in Indiana during 2017.