Indiana abortion clinics reopen after the judge blocked the ban

Indiana’s seven abortion clinics would have lost their state licenses under the ban, which allows abortions only within its limited exceptions to take place in hospitals or outpatient surgery centers.

The ban was passed by the Republican-dominated state legislature on August 5 and signed by GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb. This made Indiana the first state to enact stricter abortion restrictions since the US Supreme Court eliminated federal abortion protections by overturning Roe v. Wade in June.

The judge wrote “there is a reasonable likelihood that this significant restriction of personal autonomy will offend the guarantees of freedom of the Indiana Constitution” and that the clinics will prevail in the lawsuit. The ordinance prevents the state from enforcing the ban pending a trial on the merits of the case.

Republican state attorney general Todd Rokita said in a statement, “We intend to appeal and continue to support the life case in Indiana,” calling the abortion ban law “a reasonable way” to protect the unborn.

Women’s Med expects to see patients starting Friday, McHugh said.

“I was really hoping for it, but I honestly didn’t expect it,” he said. “So the fact that this is what happened is a pleasant surprise and such a confirmation of what we have been saying all this time.”

Whole Woman’s Health, which runs an abortion clinic in South Bend, said its staff members “are planning to resume abortion care in the near future.”

“Of course, this legal back and forth landscape leads to disruptions in patient care and uncertainty for our staff,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, president and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health.

The Indiana ban followed the political storm over a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled to the state from neighboring Ohio to end her pregnancy. The case gained widespread attention when an Indianapolis doctor said the baby arrived in Indiana due to Ohio’s ban on “fetal heartbeat.”

An Ohio judge has temporarily blocked that state law, indicating it will allow abortions to continue for up to 20 weeks of gestation until after a court hearing scheduled for October. 7.

With Indiana now on hold, 12 Republican-led states are banned from abortion at any time during pregnancy. In Wisconsin, clinics have stopped providing abortions amid litigation over whether or not an 1849 ban exists. Georgia bans abortions once fetal heart activity is detected, and Florida and Utah have bans that take effect after the 15th and 18th week of gestation respectively.

The Indiana ban replaced state laws that generally prohibited abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and strictly limited them after the 13th week. The ban includes exceptions that allow abortion in cases of rape and incest, before 10 weeks after fertilization; protect the life and physical health of the mother; and if a fetus is diagnosed with a fatal abnormality.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which represents abortion clinics, filed suit on Aug. 31 and said the ban “would ban the vast majority of abortions in Indiana and, as such, will have a devastating impact and irreparable on plaintiffs “. and, above all, their patients and customers “.

Ken Falk, the legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, stressed the declaration of the rights of the state constitution including “life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness” by arguing before the court that it included the right to privacy and to make decisions about opportunity to have children.

The state attorney general’s office said the court should uphold the ban, saying the arguments against it are based on a “new, unwritten and historically unsupported right to abortion” in the state constitution.

“The constitutional text nowhere mentions abortion and Indiana has either prohibited or heavily regulated abortion by statute since 1835 – before, during and after the time the Indiana Constitution of 1851 was drafted, discussed and ratified, “the office said in a court filing.

The question of whether the Indiana Constitution protects the right to abortion is undecided.

A state appeals court decision in 2004 stated that privacy was a core value under the state constitution which extended to all residents, including women seeking abortions. But the Indiana Supreme Court later quashed that ruling without examining whether the state’s constitution included that right.

Hanlon, a Republican first elected in 2014 as a judge in rural southern Indiana county, wrote that the Indiana constitution “is more explicit in its assertion of individual rights and its limitation of the legislative power to meddle in business. personal “with respect to the United States Constitution.

“There is a reasonable likelihood that family planning decisions, including decisions about whether to carry the pregnancy to term,” are protected by the state constitution, Hanlon wrote.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinic workers involved in the lawsuit said in a statement that they were “grateful that the court has granted much-needed relief to patients, customers and providers, but this fight is far from over.”