Planned Parenthood Files Lawsuit Against Parental Rights Law

May 19, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – Yesterday Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the American Civil Liberties Union sued against Indiana’s new parental rights law. The law, set to take effect July 1, gives parents more rights if their minor daughter seeks an abortion.
“This law highlights the important role that parents have in the health of their young daughter,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “Planned Parenthood claims abortion is a ‘women’s right,’ but this rhetoric forgets we’re talking about young, minor girls. An abortion is not a trivial health decision to be made lightly. Parents deserve to be involved and informed.”
Click here to learn more about the law, signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb, on Apr. 25.

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.



Attorney General Hill Appeals Ultrasound Ruling, Defends Dignity for Unborn Law

May 1, 2017

Pro-life Community Pleased Common Sense Law Is Being Defended

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has appealed the Mar. 31 ultrasound ruling by federal judge Tanya Pratt that favored Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky sued the state over the ultrasound provision in the 2016 Dignity for the Unborn law.

Indiana has long required that an ultrasound be done before an abortion, but in 2016 the law was updated to require that the ultrasound be done at least 18-hours before the abortion. Women are already required to received informed consent information at least 18-hours prior to an abortion, so this change aligned the two requirements into the same time frame.

Last month, the co-authors and sponsors of the Dignity for the Unborn law urged Hill to appeal Pratt’s ultrasound ruling in a letter, available here.

“The pro-life community is pleased Attorney General Hill is defending our state’s common sense ultrasound law,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “It’s disappointing that Planned Parenthood turns to activist judges anytime they find an abortion law they don’t like.”

Pratt has a history of siding with the abortion industry. Before the 2016 ban on abortion for the sole reason of the child’s sex, race, national origin or a potential disability could go into effect, Pratt sided with Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union and blocked the law.

When Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the 18-hour ultrasound law, it admitted it only had ultrasound machines at four of its then-23 locations around the state. In contrast, there are more than 50 ultrasound machines at pregnancy resource centers around the state providing free services to pregnant women. The ultrasound machines at pregnancy resource centers have been purchased by gifts from thousands of Hoosiers who care deeply about women and their health, and who believe women deserve to be truly informed about their pregnancies.

AG Curtis Hill

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.


Donnelly Urged to Denounce Lifetime Achievement Award to Abortion CEO

May 1, 2017

Democrats Giving Their Lifetime Achievement Award to Betty Cockrum this Friday

INDIANAPOLIS – The pro-life community is urging Indiana Democratic Senator, Joe Donnelly, to denounce his party giving their Lifetime Achievement Award to Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky’s outgoing CEO, Betty Cockrum. Donnelly, who seeks re-election in 2018, is a Roman Catholic who has long-claimed to be pro-life, despite frequent blocking of many pro-life legislative measures. The Indiana Democratic Party plans to give the award to Cockrum at Friday’s Hoosier Hospitality Dinner in Indianapolis.

Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life issued the following statement:

“Will Sen. Donnelly denounce his party’s Lifetime Achievement Award going to an individual who has overseen the destruction of an estimated 100,000 children? Why should Ms. Cockrum receive a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ when her legacy is the fact that she helped sentence 100,000 children to a lifetime limited to only a few weeks?

“Sen. Donnelly campaigned on being pro-life and has continued to make that claim to his constituents, despite blocking pro-life legislative measures at nearly every opportunity. Sen. Donnelly has tried to play it both ways on abortion. He knows abortion on demand is a losing issue, especially in our state. But his party is tone-deaf and continues to go all-in on abortion. National Democratic Party Committee Chair Tom Perez just demanded that all Democrats desiring party support must give full fidelity to abortion on demand. What will Sen. Donnelly say about abortion as he campaigns to retain his Senate seat in 2018? Will he still be ‘pro-life?’

“Denouncing the Lifetime Achievement Award on Ms. Cockrum is Sen. Donnelly’s way to distance himself from his party’s unwavering allegiance to abortion on demand. Celebrating abortion is offensive and not representative of Hoosier values. The pro-life community is mourning the 100,000 lives ended and mothers negatively affected by abortion during Ms. Cockrum’s 15-year tenure. We ask Sen. Donnelly to join us in remembering these victims exploited by Planned Parenthood instead of honoring Indiana’s leading abortion advocate.”

For more information on Cockrum’s legacy of political losses in Indiana and her oversight of an estimated 100,000 abortions, click here.

Visit to sign our petition to Donnelly, urging him to denounce his party’s award to Cockrum.

Sen. Joe Donnelly

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.


Betty’s Legacy – Losses, Legislation and Lawsuits – and lots of Abortion

May 1, 2017

Earlier this year we learned that Betty Cockrum, the CEO running Planned Parenthood of Indiana (and now Kentucky too), is throwing in the towel after 15 years.

The news isn’t totally surprising after the pro-abortion movement suffered a series of devastating political losses. In fact, Cockrum told the Indiana University student paper that her work is no fun anymore and that she must daily tell herself, “Get out of bed, Betty.”

Over the last 15 years, Cockrum indeed left her mark on Indiana. An estimated 80,000 Hoosier children are missing because they were aborted in Planned Parenthood facilities overseen by Cockrum.

Cockrum came to Planned Parenthood with a strong background in politics and policy. No one would have been surprised if she had steered Planned Parenthood into a strong political force that could elect any pro-abortion candidate it wanted. Thankfully for the unborn and their mothers, pro-abortion politics have been failing. Probably in large part because Democrats become more radical on abortion every day (see the new DNC Chair’s crazy call for party unity on abortion).

Shortly after Cockrum started at Planned Parenthood, Indiana Democrats lost the governor’s office in 2004. Since then they’ve lost every statewide office holder, and the Second, Eighth and Ninth Congressional Districts. The GOP gained supermajorities in the Statehouse. Last year we witnessed pro-life Todd Young’s resounding victory over pro-abortion Evan Bayh and Hoosiers’ strong message about the desire for a pro-life presidential administration. To boot, Indiana’s very Mike Pence is now promoting the pro-life agenda in the White House.

Cockrum hasn’t been able to stop pro-life legislation in the Statehouse. She fundraises off of it, but that doesn’t seem to help. From defunding Planned Parenthood to passing a law that stops discriminatory abortions, Indiana is regularly ranked as a top pro-life state.

Indianapolis Planned Parenthood, April 2017

Planned Parenthood has, however, lawyered up. Cockrum, and the American Civil Liberties Union, have stopped several pro-life laws in activist courts. They know which judges are on their side. Most recently they sued to stop civil rights protections for the unborn and so that they wouldn’t have to install ultrasound machines at their locations. Planned Parenthood’s only victories these days are lawsuits in the courts.

Thankfully, life is winning in the court of public opinion. Abortions are down. In 2002, the year Planned Parenthood hired Cockrum, there were nearly 11,000 abortions in Indiana. In 2015, the most recent year we have data for, abortions dropped to less than 8,000. Planned Parenthood doesn’t do all of Indiana’s abortions, but it does the most – every year.

Millennials are increasingly identifying as pro-life and finding their health care outside of Planned Parenthood. Last year, Planned Parenthood shut down five facilities in Indiana. Planned Parenthood is a tired model. Women can get better healthcare, and for a better price, elsewhere. Planned Parenthood is on the decline.

Someone new will soon take over for Cockrum. This individual may have strong credentials in health care, politics or policy. They may publicly praise Cockrum and her legacy.

The truth is, Cockrum’s legacy is political losses, pro-life legislation, tired lawsuits and lots of abortion.

There’s an old saying, always to leave something better than what you found it. We can’t imagine the folks at Planned Parenthood are too pleased with the current state of abortion in Indiana. And we’re okay with that. We’ll keep fighting to make abortion a thing of the past.


Editor’s note: The number of abortions overseen by Cockrum has been updated since this post’s original publishing date.



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