South Bend abortion provider joins lawsuit challenging Indiana's near-total ban

SOUTH BEND ― Whole Woman's Health Alliance has joined other Indiana abortion providers in a lawsuit challenging the state's near-total abortion ban that was passed in August and is set to take effect Sept. 15.

The nonprofit managing Michiana's lone abortion clinic joined a lawsuit filed Tuesday that seeks to prevent the ban from taking effect, arguing it "violates both the Indiana Constitution’s right to privacy and equal privileges protections," according to a statement. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is leading the legal effort.

"The heartless and hateful politicians behind this ban have made clear how little they care about the majority of Hoosiers who support abortion rights," said Whole Woman's Health CEO Amy Hagstrom Miller in a statement. "Those very people who look to us for hope, comfort, and high-quality care every day ― we will never turn our backs on them.

"Abortion is still legal in Indiana and we're doing everything in our power to keep Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend open and give this essential medical care to all who need it."

More:If lawsuit fails, South Bend's only abortion clinic to be forced into closing next month

It is unclear whether the lawsuit will delay the ban from taking effect. Indiana Right to Life released a statement opposing the lawsuit Tuesday and expressed fear the ban may be stalled come Sept. 15.

Whole Woman's Health is one of seven abortion clinics in Indiana — collectively responsible for 98% of abortions — that would be forced to close under the new law. Abortions would take place in hospitals or ambulatory outpatient centers and would be permitted only in cases of rape, incest, impairment to the health of the mother or a deadly fetal abnormality.

Whole Woman's Health was joined in the lawsuit by the Planned Parenthood chapter representing Indiana and other medical providers in the state. The group estimates about 1.5 million Hoosiers of reproductive age would be affected by the new law.

This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: South Bend abortion clinic joins lawsuit to stop impending Indiana ban