Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Ban: 'We Celebrate This Day'
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The Indiana Supreme Court removed a major hurdle to a near-total abortion ban saving the lives of thousands of unborn babies in the state.
Under the new ruling, abortion in Indiana will be banned, with limited exceptions, starting on August 1.
The high court overturned Special Judge Kelsey B. Hanlon's prior ruling that the abortion ban likely violated the state constitution's privacy protections, which she said are stronger than those found in the U.S. Constitution. Hanlon's order has blocked the ban that lawmakers had passed, allowing abortions to continue in Indiana since September while the case proceeded through the courts.
An opinion from three of the Indiana Supreme Court's five justices said that while the state's constitution provides some protection of abortion rights, the "General Assembly otherwise retains broad legislative discretion for determining whether and the extent to which to prohibit abortions."
In a statement, state Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) praised the ruling.
"We celebrate this day – one long in coming, but morally justified," he wrote. "Thank you to all the warriors who have fought for this day that upholds LIFE."
Indiana became the first state to enact tighter abortion restrictions, acting in August, after the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated federal abortion approval by overturning Roe v. Wade last year.
A second injunction remains in effect as Indiana's abortion ban still faces a separate court challenge over claims it violates the state's 2015 religious freedom law signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence.
ACLU of Indiana filed the lawsuit on behalf of Hoosier Jews for Choice who claim the abortion ban infringes on their right to exercise their religion because their religion permits abortion in some circumstances.
That case is scheduled for oral argument in front of the Indiana Court of Appeals in September.
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