Judge halts enforcement of Indiana’s new ban on abortions

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana decide on Thursday blocked the state’s abortion ban from being enforced, placing the new regulation on maintain as abortion clinic operators argue that it violates the state structure.

Owen County Judge Kelsey Hanlon issued a preliminary injunction in opposition to the ban that took impact one week in the past. The injunction was sought by abortion clinic operators who argued in a lawsuit that the state structure protects entry to the medical process.

The ban was permitted by the state’s Republican-dominated Legislature on Aug. 5 and signed by GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb. That made Indiana the primary state to enact tighter abortion restrictions for the reason that U.S. Supreme Court eradicated federal abortion protections by overturning Roe v. Wade in June.

The decide wrote “there is reasonable likelihood that this significant restriction of personal autonomy offends the liberty guarantees of the Indiana Constitution” and that the clinics will prevail within the lawsuit. The order prevents the state from imposing the ban pending a trial on the deserves of the lawsuit.

The state lawyer normal’s office and prime Republican legislative leaders did not instantly remark on the order.

The ban, which incorporates restricted exceptions, changed Indiana legal guidelines that typically prohibited abortions after the twentieth week of being pregnant and tightly restricted them after the thirteenth week.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which is representing the abortion clinics, filed the lawsuit Aug. 31 and argued the ban would “prohibit the overwhelming majority of abortions in Indiana and, as such, will have a devastating and irreparable impact on the plaintiffs and, more importantly, their patients and clients.”

Ken Falk, the ACLU of Indiana’s authorized director, pointed to the state structure’s declaration of rights together with “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in arguing earlier than the decide on Monday that it included a proper to privateness and to make choices on whether or not to have kids.

The state lawyer normal’s office stated the court docket ought to uphold the ban, calling arguments in opposition to it based mostly on a “novel, unwritten, historically unsupported right to abortion” within the state structure.

“The constitutional text nowhere mentions abortion, and Indiana has prohibited or heavily regulated abortion by statute since 1835 — before, during, and after the time when the 1851 Indiana Constitution was drafted, debated, and ratified,” the office stated in a court docket submitting.

The Indiana abortion ban contains exceptions permitting abortions in instances of rape and incest, earlier than 10 weeks post-fertilization; to guard the life and bodily well being of the mom; and if a fetus is recognized with a deadly anomaly.

The new regulation additionally prohibited abortion clinics from offering any abortion care, leaving such providers solely to hospitals or outpatient surgical facilities owned by hospitals.

The lawsuit was filed in southern Indiana’s Monroe County, which incorporates the liberal-leaning metropolis of Bloomington and Indiana University’s principal campus, however two elected Democratic judges from that county declined to deal with the case with out stating any causes.

Hanlon, a Republican from neighboring Owen County, accepted appointment as particular decide. Hanlon, who was first elected as a decide in 2014, was amongst three finalists that the state Judicial Nominating Commission chosen in July for for appointment to the state appeals court docket, however the governor final week named a distinct decide to the position.

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