Doctors refusing potentially life-saving abortion treatment over legal fears, Indiana doctor says

Indiana’s new abortion law will go into effect on Sept. 15, which would ban abortion in nearly all cases with limited exceptions including rape and incest.

Indiana was the first state to pass new legislation restricting reproductive rights after Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24.

Dr. Katherine McHugh, a practicing doctor who provides abortion services in Indiana, spoke with ABC News’ podcast “Start Here” about how her practice has been shifting following the overturning of Roe v. Wade and how the new state law will impact her practice.

START HERE: Dr. McHugh, can you just tell me about where you work and what the last couple months have been like?

MCHUGH: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks so much for having me and for taking on this issue. I am primarily in Indianapolis, although I travel all over the state of Indiana providing abortion care. And over the last two months, we have seen a real change in our patient demographic. We’ve seen an influx of patients from outside of the state, they are coming to us from other states that have already banned abortion.

PHOTO: A woman carries a placard saying "Indiana where I have more bodily autonomy dead than pregnant," as abortion-rights protesters march around the Indiana State house in Indianapolis.

A woman carries a placard saying “Indiana where I have more bodily autonomy dead than pregnant,” as abortion-rights protesters march around the Indiana State house in Indianapolis.

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, FILE

And this has all been in the setting of anticipating an abortion ban in Indiana as well. So we’ve been able to increase access over the last few months and been very fortunate that we have been able to take care of a lot of people that needed healthcare and at the same time, working with collaborative networks and strengthening those referral places because we know that we will be sending our own patients away in just a few short weeks.

The patients

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