Indiana abortions drop sharply ahead of state ban possibly taking effect, state reports show

Jul 5, 2023, 12:08 PM

FILE - Abortion protesters attempt to handout literature as they stand in the driveway of a Planned...

FILE - Abortion protesters attempt to handout literature as they stand in the driveway of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Indianapolis, Aug. 16, 2019. The number of abortions being performed in Indiana has dropped steeply ahead of a court ruling that has a Republican-backed abortion ban set to potentially take effect in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The number of abortions being performed in Indiana has dropped steeply even before a court ruling that has a Republican-backed abortion ban set to potentially take effect in the coming weeks.

New reports from the Indiana Department of Health show the state’s abortion total during 2022 jumped by 13% — an increase caused by out-of-state patients coming to Indiana for the procedure as tighter laws took effect in Kentucky and Ohio.

But in a sign of the quickly changing landscape of abortion availability, the number of Indiana procedures plunged in the last months of 2022 and the first months of 2023 as two of the state’s seven licensed abortion clinics reported no abortions during the January-March period.

The new state reports were posted online Friday, the same day the county judge’s order from September that has allowed abortions to continue in the state.

Dr. Amy Caldwell, an Indianapolis obstetrician who performs abortions for Planned Parenthood, said last week she has seen increased anxiety among patients who don’t understand the legal battle.

“We have seen a lot of fear and a lot of misunderstanding of patients who believe that abortion access has been restricted and isn’t available in Indiana,” Caldwell said.

The number of Indiana abortions rose by 1,115 to 9,529 during 2022, according to the state reports. That increase came from abortions involving out-of-state patients growing from 465 in 2021 to 1,827 last year — with about 85% of those patients coming from Kentucky or Ohio.

The monthly abortion rate dropped by one-third or more in the last months of 2022 as the state abortion ban took effect for about a week before being blocked by court order and abortion clinics faced patient confusion and staffing shortages.

That decline continued into the first three months of this year, with a 15% decline from that same time during 2022. A Planned Parenthood clinic in Indianapolis, which has in the past led the state in abortions performed, and Whole Woman’s Health in South Bend, which announced its closure last month, reported no abortions during that period.

Planned Parenthood cited staff training earlier this year as the reason for not providing abortions at the Indianapolis clinic but did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment on the clinic’s status and the state reports.

Indiana was the overturning Roe v. Wade in June 2022. But the leader of the state’s most prominent anti-abortion group said Indiana became “an abortion destination state” once a judge blocked the ban.

“This is exactly what we warned would happen,” Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter said. “We are hopeful the recent Indiana Supreme Court ruling ends this exploitation by abortion businesses.”

The Indiana ban would prohibit the vast majority of abortions even in the earliest stages of a pregnancy. It includes exceptions allowing abortions at hospitals in cases of rape or incest before 10 weeks post-fertilization. It also allows abortions up to 20 weeks to protect the life and physical health of the mother or if a fetus is diagnosed with a lethal anomaly.

Although the state Supreme Court’s decision last week strikes down the injunction blocking the ban, the justices returned the case to the county judge for further action and left open the possibility of a narrower legal challenge.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, representing Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinic operators in the lawsuit, has 30 days to ask the Supreme Court to review the decision but has not said whether it would do so.

Court orders have allowed abortions to continue since September under existing laws generally prohibiting abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and tightly restricting it after the 13th week. The state report showed 99% of abortions during 2022 were performed at 13 weeks or earlier.

National News

Associated Press

Former lawmaker who led Michigan marijuana board is sent to prison for bribery

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man formerly known as a powerful Michigan lawmaker was sentenced Thursday to nearly five years in federal prison for accepting bribes as head of a marijuana licensing board. Rick Johnson admitted accepting at least $110,000 when he led the board from 2017 to 2019. “I am a corrupt politician,” […]

19 minutes ago

Associated Press

Wisconsin corn mill owners plead to federal charges in fatal explosion, will pay $11.25 million

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A milling company has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges that employees at a Wisconsin corn plant falsified records in the years leading up to a fatal corn dust explosion. The plea deal calls for Didion Milling Inc. to pay a $1 million fine and $10.25 million to the estates […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Former Colorado fugitive sentenced to prison for spectacular Caesars Palace standoff in Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former fugitive from Colorado who pleaded guilty to causing a spectacular Las Vegas Strip hotel standoff that included furniture flying from a Caesars Palace window was sentenced Thursday to pay nearly $55,300 in restitution to the hotel and to serve up to four years of prison time. Matthew John Ermond […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Man shot and wounded at New Mexico protest over installation of Spanish conquistador statue

ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) — A suspect was taken into custody after allegedly shooting and wounding a man at a protest Thursday in Española where officials had planned to install a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate, authorities said. A Rio Arriba County sheriff’s spokesman said the victim was shot in the chest or stomach […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

State officials in Michigan scratched from lawsuit over lead in Benton Harbor’s water

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday dismissed state officials from a lawsuit related to past lead contamination in a small southwestern Michigan city’s drinking water but said the case could proceed against city officials, including the mayor. Lawyers for residents compared Benton Harbor to Flint where lead contaminated the city’s water […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Plane that crashed, killing Rep. Peltola’s husband, had over 500 pounds of meat and antlers on board

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The small plane that crashed in rural Alaska earlier this month, killing the husband of U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, was carrying more than 500 pounds of moose meat and antlers from a remote hunting camp when it went down shortly after takeoff, according to an investigation report released Thursday. Eugene Peltola […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Indiana abortions drop sharply ahead of state ban possibly taking effect, state reports show