Summary of Current (and Most Recent) Abortion and Personhood Laws
- A recently enacted law, effective September 15, 2022, significantly restricts abortion in Indiana. It revokes abortion clinics’ licenses (permitting abortions to only be performed at hospitals) and contains limited exceptions for rape and incest up to 10 weeks gestation, and for certain risks to the pregnant woman and lethal fetal anomalies up to 20 weeks. Senate Bill 1 (amending Ind. Code tit. 16 art. 34). However, on September 22, 2022, an Indiana court issued a preliminary injunction, pending a decision on the merits regarding a challenge under Indiana’s constitution. Planned Parenthood Northwest v. Members of the Med. Licensing Bd. of Ind. (Case No. 53C06-2208-PL-001756).
- With the law suspended, abortion clinics are permitted to remain open and maintain their licenses, but the previously effective restrictions, which generally prohibit abortions after 20 weeks postfertilization (with certain exceptions), remain in effect.
- If it goes into effect, the law that is currently enjoined also:
- Prohibits the provision of abortion pills after 8 weeks of postfertilization age, and requires that they be dispensed in person, and taken in the presence of the physician. Ind. Code § 16-34-2-1.
- States (and requires the pregnant person to be informed) that “human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm.” Ind. Code § 16-34-2-1.1(a)(1)(E).
- Requires information about each abortion performed to be reported to the state. Ind. Code § 16-34-2-5.
Potential impact of the law on and references to IVF and reproductive medicine if any
- It does not appear that current abortion restrictions in Indiana will apply to IVF or other reproductive medicine services outside the context of a pregnancy.
- The recently enacted law expressly states it does not apply to in vitro fertilization. Ind. Code § 16-34-1-0.5.
- Indiana law criminalizes “a person who knowingly or intentionally purchases or sells a human ovum, zygote, embryo, or fetus commits unlawful transfer of a human organism,” but this does not apply to in vitro fertilization. Ind. Code § 35-46-5-2.
- Neither Indiana’s current nor recently amended abortion statutes define fetus, fertilization, embryo, viability, or conception.
Penalties for violations of the applicable abortion restrictions
- A physician who violates the abortion restrictions or fails to comply with the requirements related to a lawful abortion may be subject to civil and criminal penalties. See Ind. Code tit. 16 art. 34.