Planned Parenthood files suit against new abortion legislation

By Shelby Mullis

INDIANAPOLIS — Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky filed a lawsuit Thursday against new legislation that would change the process of a minor getting an abortion.

Senate Enrolled Act 404, which was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb last month, would require that before a minor can have an abortion their parent, legal guardian or custodian accompanying the minor must give written consent, proof of identification and evidence of the relationship.

Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said in a press release that the bill would have a “chilling effect” on teenagers currently dealing with a situation.

“We encourage teenagers to have open and honest conversations with their family members, but unfortunately not every teenager is in an environment where that is safe,” Cockrum said. “This law seeks to stifle open and fully-informed conversation between our staff and our patients. Patients should know all options regarding their pregnancies. It is blatantly unconstitutional and is entirely without compassion for vulnerable Hoosiers.”

But the bill’s author, Sen. Erin Houchin, R-Salem, said the bill was not about women seeking abortions, but was rather intended to allow parents to be involved the the minor’s health care decision, which she said can have a “lasting psychological impact.”

“It’s unfortunate that a group who claims to be an advocate for women’s health would sue the state on this issue, rather than trying to protect our youth from human trafficking and to safeguard the unborn,” Houchin said in a statement. “Nothing in SEA 404 prevents a judge from overriding a parental veto or from determining a notification is not in the best interest of the child.”

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana are seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent certain provisions of the bill from going into effect on July 1.

Shelby Mullis is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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