Indiana State Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Law
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the state’s near-total ban on abortions, reversing a lower court’s decision to block the controversial law.
In a 4-1 vote, the Supreme Court denied a request to rehear a case seeking to overturn Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), allowing the law to take effect immediately, according to a statement by the court.
SB 1 bars abortions after 10 weeks of pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest, a diagnosis of lethal fetal anomaly, or when the life of the mother is in danger. If found guilty of violating the law, abortion providers and doctors face criminal charges and face up to six months in jail and a $10,000 fine for breaking the law.
The law was approved in August 2022 and the ACLU, on behalf of abortion clinics including Planned Parenthood, quickly filed a lawsuit. In response, a county judge issued a preliminary injunction that put the law on hold as the lawsuit proceeded.
However, the state Supreme Court lifted the injunction this past June and rejected the ACLU’s request for a rehearing on Monday.
The ACLU of Indiana called the Supreme Court decision a “dark day” for the state in an Aug 21 statement as SB 1’s near-total abortion ban “will undoubtedly put Hoosiers’ lives at risk.”
“We have seen the horrifying impact of bans like this across the country,” it said.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, on the other hand, welcomed the court’s decision.
“This is great news for Hoosier life and liberty,” he said in an Aug. 21 post on X. “We defeated the pro-death advocates who try to interject their views in a state that clearly voted for life.”
The Supreme Court ruled that SB 1 does not violate the state constitution and Justice Christopher Goff, who cast the lone dissenting opinion, warned that the law’s exceptions to abortions related to the safety of the mother “does not include psychological or emotional conditions.”
When SB 1 passed in August 2022, Indiana became the first state in the United States to approve and pass a bill banning most abortions following the overturning of Roe v. Wade earlier in June.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said the legislation was the result of “long days of hearings filled with sobering and personal testimony from citizens and elected representatives.”
“Ultimately, those voices shaped and informed the final contents of the legislation and its carefully negotiated exceptions to address some of the unthinkable circumstances a woman or unborn child might face.”
The legal battle over SB 1 isn’t over yet. The ACLU has vowed to challenge the law in court. Meanwhile, abortion providers in the state have already stopped providing services. Only time will tell how SB 1’s near-total abortion ban will play out.