A judge in Indiana blocked the state’s abortion ban on Thursday, creating a setback for the state’s pro-life movement.
The Hoosier State’s legislature voted in early August to tighten abortion restrictions following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. The new law banned abortion after 13 weeks (rather than the previous 20 weeks) and made Indiana the first state to expand abortion restrictions following the Dobbs decision.
But less than a month after the pro-life bill was passed by the state legislature, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the ban, which took effect just one week ago.
According to the Associated Press, “Ken Falk, the ACLU of Indiana’s legal director, pointed to the state constitution’s declaration of rights including ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ in arguing before the judge on Monday that it included a right to privacy and to make decisions on whether to have children.”
Planned Parenthood and ACLU’s fight in Indiana
Legal arguments earlier this week found the ACLU teaming up with Planned Parenthood to block the state’s abortion ban. A local news outlet reports, “In Court Sept. 19, Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics asked the judge to stop the ban from remaining in effect. In court documents, the ACLU, representing the abortion clinics, argued the new law violates the state constitution and a right to privacy, is vague and discriminates against the clinics.”
Then, on Thursday, the judge granted a preliminary injunction on the law, temporarily stopping it. “There is reasonable likelihood that this significant restriction of personal autonomy offends the liberty guarantees of the Indiana Constitution,” Owen County Judge Kelsey Hanlon wrote.
Predictably, Planned Parenthood announced that it would immediately resume performing abortions.
Indiana Right to Life CEO Mike Fichter told LifeNews, “Today’s blockage of Indiana’s new law means over 161 unborn children will continue to lose their lives to abortion every week this injunction stays in effect.”
He added, “Not only is there no right to an abortion in the Indiana Constitution, it actually states life is one of our inalienable rights. We are confident the state will prevail.”
One hopes that, in defense of preborn babies’ lives, the injunction will be ended as soon as possible. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood may be powerful political forces, but pro-life advocates in Indiana remain confident that their constitution protects the right to life of the preborn. Republican state Attorney General Todd Rokita released a statement saying that he plans “to appeal and continue to make the case for life in Indiana.”