State Supreme Court Clears Way For Abortion Ban To Take Effect

Kate Anderson 

The Indiana Supreme Court paved the way Monday for the state’s abortion ban to take effect after denying activists’ attempt to get a new hearing on the court’s previous decision to uphold the law, according to the Indiana Chronicle.

The state Supreme Court ruled in June that the law, which prohibits abortion with limited exceptions, was in line with the Indiana constitution, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapter in the state to file a request for a rehearing on July 31, according to 21alive News, a local media outlet. The justices ruled against the request in a 4-1 decision, meaning the ban will go into effect once the court’s June opinion is certified, the Indiana Chronicle reported.

Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush wrote in her own opinion that while she agreed with her colleagues that the plaintiffs had not gone through the necessary channels to obtain a rehearing, she was “deeply concerned” about the law, according to the Indiana Chronicle.

“Given that possibility, I am deeply concerned about Senate Bill 1’s impact on Hoosier women’s constitutional right to seek medical care that is necessary to protect their life or to protect them from a serious health risk,” Rush wrote. “And I am likewise concerned about the law’s impact on healthcare providers who must determine whether to provide that care and potentially expose themselves to criminal penalties and professional sanctions. But Plaintiffs have not properly put these concerns before us.”

The justices ruled that the injunction the plaintiffs wanted the court to enforce went beyond what they were initially asking for and, therefore, must be sent back to the trial court system, according to the Indiana Chronicle. Justice Christopher M. Goff, the lone dissenter in the ruling, argued that an injunction halting the law should have been granted.

“This would be for a limited time — perhaps 60 days — so the trial court can hear arguments and evidence and consider whether to enter a new injunction,” Goff wrote, according to the Indiana Chronicle. “Maintaining this restriction, for now, would provide the added benefit of preserving a stable legal environment for women, healthcare providers, and law enforcement.”

The state’s law, known as Senate Bill 1, bans abortions unless there is a “serious health risk of the pregnant woman or to save the pregnant woman’s life,” if the child is diagnosed with a “lethal fetal anomaly” or in the case of rape or incest, according to the legislation. The bill was signed into law in 2022, but was swiftly challenged by a lawsuit filed by several pro-abortion groups and the ACLU of Indiana, who argued that the law violated the state’s constitution, according to court documents.

The ACLU did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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