Kaytie Ravega Shares Insight About Legal Interpretation of Indiana Abortion Law in Article by The Republic
Quarles & Brady partner Kaytie Ravega, an Indianapolis-based member of the firm’s Health & Life Sciences Practice Group, provided perspective on the potential implications of Indiana’s abortion law for an article in The Republic.
The article addressed efforts by local health care providers to assess what the state’s near-total abortion ban, which now will take effect in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, means for the abortion care they can provide to patients. Ravega explained that the state law includes some vague language that makes it difficult to pinpoint the associated legal implications.
An excerpt from the article:
Currently, there is no legal precedent that establishes, in the context of Indiana’s abortion ban, what constitutes several criteria listed in law’s exemptions, including “reasonable medical judgment,” “serious health risk to the pregnant woman” or “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” according to an analysis by Indianapolis law firm Quarles & Brady LLP provided to The Republic by healthcare attorney Kaytie Ravega.
Where courts draw the line on what these provisions mean would get ironed out in subsequent court challenges after the law takes effect, the law firm said. However, the legal standard will likely hinge upon the doctor’s medical judgment, though physicians “should be prepared to defend” their determinations, possibly in court.
“The general challenge in Indiana, like in many other states, is the vagueness of the law combined with the serious consequences for even unintentional errors,” according to Ravega. “In the emergency situations, for example, physicians will have to make fast decisions concerning medical necessity, remembering to document that in advance even though minutes might mean the death of their patient, while facing patients in crisis and families concerned about losing their female members, but which may ultimately also result in the physician’s arrest for providing the patient with care.”