INDIANA – A federal appeals court today handed Attorney General Todd Rokita the state’s fourth legal victory this month in cases involving Indiana abortion laws.
The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Indiana can immediately begin enforcing a law requiring the notification of the parents of minors who obtain abortions — a law previously enjoined by a federal district court before it could ever go into effect.
“This pro-life victory is not just a win for me or this office,” Attorney General Rokita said. “It’s a win for all Hoosiers who believe in protecting the sanctity of life, the health of women, and the crucial importance of families.”
Indiana law generally requires the consent of adult parents in order for minor females to obtain abortions, but the law exempts minors who successfully persuade a juvenile court that they are mature enough to make the decision for themselves.
The parental-notification law requires that even in those cases, however, the adult parents must be notified that their minor child is undergoing the procedure. The law does not require that notification in cases in which the juvenile court finds that it would endanger the well-being of the minor undergoing the abortion. A minor in Indiana is defined as someone under age 18.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, Attorney General Rokita has secured three earlier wins for Indiana pro-life laws.
On July 7, Attorney General Rokita achieved another historic pro-life legal win when a federal district court granted his motion to lift an injunction on dismemberment abortions, which occur well into an unborn baby’s development.
Then, on July 11, a U.S. appellate court vacated judgments in the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance v. Rokita case that invalidated several other Indiana laws protecting unborn children and the health of their mothers.
On July 18, a U.S. district court vacated a judgment against an Indiana law prohibiting abortions sought on the basis of the unborn child’s race, sex or disability.
“I look forward to working together with all Hoosiers of goodwill to continue building a culture of life in Indiana,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Let it be clear that we value the life of every individual, born and unborn. Let us work to ensure that everyone has the best possible chance at the best possible life, and certainly let us give special priority and emphasis to the mothers bringing these children into the world. Truly, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”
Documents related to today’s court actions are attached.