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Legal Battle Ends Over Abortion Clinic Law

A law placing strict requirements on abortion clinics that provide only chemical, not surgical, abortions, is being dumped after lawyers representing the state and Planned Parenthood of Indiana agreed to put an end to the legal battle over the law's constitutionality.

U.S. District  Court Judge Jane Magnus Stinson ruled the law unconstitutional in December, and in a statement Wednesday, the Indiana attorney general's spokesman Bryan Corbin said both sides agreed that even if the case went back to trial, the outcome would be the same.

As a result, Magnus-Stinson ordered her ruling would be the final one in the case.

The law requiring a Lafayette abortion clinic to have the same facilities as those that perform surgical abortions never went into effect.

Almost as soon as the law was passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013, a challenge to it was filed in court and a judge barred the law from taking effect, pending an appeal.

Despite the settlement, Betty Cockrum, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, says she remains uneasy.

“I think it offers some comfort,” Cockrum says. “Again bearing in mind that the Indiana legislature came to town yesterday, so that always has lurking potential applications out there.”

Both Cockrum and ACLU Legal Director Ken Falk point to a line in the attorney general’s statement noting that lawmakers could still tweak the statute and pass another version of it, leading to a similar fight in the future.

The law would have only affected one abortion clinic in the state, located in Lafayette.

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