Judge questions Indiana abortion procedure ban

"Courtroom Gavel" by Joe Gratz, public domain

A federal judge has grilled an attorney for the state of Indiana over whether the Legislature had legitimate reasons for approving a law that would ban a second-trimester abortion procedure.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is seeking a preliminary injunction blocking the restrictions on dilation and evacuation abortions, which the legislation calls “dismemberment abortion.”

During a Monday hearing, Judge Sarah Evans Barker questioned why the state would force women seeking an abortion to undergo “highly risky” alternative procedures. Barker said she plans to rule before the law’s July 1 effective date.

The measure passed by the Republican-dominated Legislature would make it illegal for doctors to use medical instruments to remove a fetus from the womb except to save the pregnant woman’s life or prevent serious health risk.

Federal courts have blocked similar laws in others states