Judge temporarily blocks Indiana abortion ban


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – Indiana’s near-total ban on abortion is on hold.

A Superior Court judge in Indianapolis ruled on Friday that the ban likely violates the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
A group of anonymous women and the group Hoosier Jews for Choice sued the state in September, arguing that the ban infringes on their religious beliefs.

The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act says a law can’t substantially burden a person’s religious beliefs or practices unless it advances a compelling governmental interest and does so in the least restrictive way possible.

RFRA was signed by former Governor Mike Pence in 2015 and prevents the government from blocking someone’s religious exercise.

The five women behind the suit say it is because they say the abortion ban is against Judaism, Islam, Unitarian Universalism, Episcopalianism, and Paganism.

Marion County Superior Court Judge Heather Welch ruled that the abortion ban fails on all three counts.

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UPDATE (October 13, 2022):

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) -The Indiana Supreme Court is upholding a block on the state’s new restrictive abortion law.

Per the High Court’s ruling this week, the new abortion law that took effect on September 15th cannot be enforced.

Additionally, the court rejects a request to lift a special injunction blocking the enforcement of the restrictions. The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on the injunction, but not until January.

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UPDATE (October 5, 2022):

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – The state of Indiana is filing a response to a lawsuit from the ACLU that claims the new abortion law violates some women’s religious freedoms.

The Attorney General’s Office says the women the ACLU is representing do not have standing to sue because they are not pregnant.

A judge will review this response at a preliminary injunction hearing on October 14th.

The near-total ban on abortion is already not being enforced because of a decision from a different judge to put it on hold amid a legal battle over the measure’s constitutionality.

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UPDATE (October 4, 2022):

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – The ACLU of Indiana is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to reject a request from the state’s Attorney General.

A special judge issued an injunction in September blocking Indiana’s near-total ban on abortion from being enforced. Attorney General appealed, asking for the injunction to be lifted and for the Indiana Supreme Court to take immediate jurisdiction over the case.

If this happens, the Court of Appeals will not rule on the new law, and it will instead go straight to the state’s highest court for review.

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UPDATE (September 23, 2022):

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – Indiana’s near-total ban on abortions is no longer being enforced. It went into effect last week, but an Owen County judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking it Thursday.

This comes after abortion clinic operators filed suit against the new law, which banned all abortions except when the mother’s life is at risk or in case of rape or incest for up to ten weeks.

The judge says there is a “reasonable likelihood” the law “offends the liberty guarantees of the Indiana Constitution.” Indiana’s Attorney General plans to appeal.

State Senator Rodney Pol Jr. (D-Chesterton) made the following statement:

“I’d like to thank the ACLU for their tireless efforts in bringing this suit forward and Judge Hanlon for taking the common sense step of granting a preliminary injunction. Judge Hanlon rightly notes that SB 1 ended 50 years of precedent and that it is in the public interest to block the new law to allow the court to address the issue on its merits. However, this may only be a temporary outcome, so I will continue to support efforts to restore a woman’s right to choose.”

Sen. Pol represents Senate District 4 which encompasses portions of northern Porter County as well as portions of Michigan, Coolspring and New Durham townships in LaPorte County.

Attorney General Todd Rokita also responded to the injunction against new abortion law obtained by Planned Parenthood.

Attorney General Todd Rokita today issued the following statement:

“We plan to appeal and continue to make the case for life in Indiana. Our office remains determined to fight for the lives of the unborn, and this law provides a reasonable way to begin doing that.”

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UPDATE (September 15, 2022):

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – A judge is not making an immediate decision after hearing arguments from both sides on Indiana’s near-total abortion ban.

The state of Indiana and the ACLU were in court for about an hour on Monday.

This comes after the ACLU filed suit on behalf of abortion providers, asking the judge for a preliminary injunction against the new state law that took effect last week. The judge says she will make a decision expeditiously.

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UPDATE (September 15, 2022):

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – Most abortions in Indiana are now illegal.

The state’s new law that bans all abortions except for in the case of rape or incest, or to save the mother’s life went into effect at midnight. Lawmakers approved the new law back in June after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

There are a couple of legal challenges to Indiana’s new law, but they won’t go before a judge until next week.

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UPDATE (September 13, 2022):

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – An Indiana judge is planning to hear arguments for and against the state’s new abortion ban.

The new law goes into effect Thursday, but the judge is scheduling the hearing for Monday, September 19th.

The hearing stems from an ACLU lawsuit that claims the ban goes against the state’s constitution. The ACLU has also filed a second lawsuit against the abortion ban, but a hearing has yet to be set in that case.

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UPDATE (September 9, 2022):

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is legally challenging an abortion ban set to take effect next week. A new lawsuit alleges Senate Bill 1 violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of Hoosier Jews for Choice and five women. The near-total abortion ban in Indiana is expected to take effect on September 15th.

From the ACLU on Thursday:

Today we filed a lawsuit on behalf of five women who, like many Hoosiers, have sincere religious beliefs that they must be able to obtain an abortion under circumstances prohibited by S.B. 1. This lawsuit argues that the ban on abortion violates Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Last week, we filed a lawsuit which argues that the abortion ban violates the Indiana Constitution’s right to privacy and equal privileges protections. From its very inception, the Indiana Constitution has protected the right to privacy. Implicit in this right, is the right for a woman to make medical decisions regarding her own reproductive health.

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – There is a new lawsuit aimed at stopping Indiana’s new abortion law before it goes into effect.

The ACLU and Indiana’s abortion providers filed a lawsuit that accuses Indiana lawmakers of violating the Indiana Constitution by infringing on the right to privacy and the guarantee of equal privileges.

The Republican-controlled legislature approved the new law earlier this month, it restricts abortions to only cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.

That new law is supposed to take effect on September 15th.

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