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ADF files brief on behalf of Focus on the Family, supporting state interests affirming life

Related Case: Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky

WASHINGTON – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Focus on the Family filed a friend-of-the-court brief Wednesday that urges the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court’s decision that declared unconstitutional an Indiana law ensuring that pregnant women are given the truthful information that an ultrasound provides.

Focus on the Family operates “Option Ultra­sound,” a program that provides grants to pregnancy centers and allows them to purchase machines and train professionals who will perform the ultrasound examinations. Focus’s program has provided grants to Indiana pregnancy centers. 

“Mothers deserve complete and accurate information about the development and humanity of their children, and ultrasounds are a vital tool in providing that,” said ADF Senior Counsel Denise Burke. “Indiana’s law ensures mothers have access to these images before making abortion decisions. Anyone who deliberately attempts to shield a pregnant mother from understanding the true implications of an abortion procedure doesn’t truly believe in a mother’s free ‘choice,’ but rather harbors a different motivation altogether.”

The brief filed with the Supreme Court in Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentuckyexplains that Focus’s “Option Ultrasound” has collected “raw data from Indiana [that] reveals the considerable, life-affirming impact of ultrasounds. In Indiana, 861 women have received counseling and elected to undergo ultrasounds at pregnancy centers that received ‘Option Ultrasound’ grants. Of those women, an astonishing 839—or 97%—chose life. In other words, when mothers are shown the truth about the babies growing inside their wombs before undergoing a serious medical procedure, they decide overwhelmingly not to kill their preborn daughters and sons. And that result, of course, is the very state interest that Indiana desired when it enacted its ultrasound law.”

“Every woman should have all the information she needs to make the healthiest choice for everyone involved in a pregnancy,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot, vice president of the ADF Center for Life. “As the U.S. Supreme Court has previously recognized, ‘the State has a legitimate interest in promoting the life or potential life of the unborn.’ Indiana’s law does not substantially burden a pregnant mother’s ‘choice’ to take her baby’s life, but it does provide her with the information necessary for that choice to be a real one.”

The brief also includes stories of expecting mothers and abortion-clinic personnel who changed their minds about abortion and affirmed the humanity of unborn children after viewing ultrasound images of such children.
  • Pronunciation guide: Theriot (TAIR’-ee-oh)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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