By Dave Andrusko
Indiana’s Senate Bill 1 was the first new protective pro-life law passed by a state legislature following the June 24th overturn of Roe v. Wade. With the law scheduled to take effect in a little over two weeks, abortion providers filed a lawsuit in Monroe County to block Senate Bill 1.
The lawsuit asserts that the law “strips away the fundamental rights of people seeking abortion care in violation of the Indiana Constitution,” according to The Associated Press. “It asks for a judge to block the law from going into effect on Sept. 15, arguing the ban ‘will infringe on Hoosiers’ right to privacy, violate Indiana’s guarantee of equal privileges and immunities, and includes unconstitutionally vague language.’” Senate Bill 1 was passed during a two-week special legislative session that ended August 5.
Indiana Right to Life CEO Mike Fichter responded, “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 and pray the new law is not blocked from going into effect on September 15, knowing that any delay will mean the indiscriminate killing of unborn children will continue at abortion clinics across Indiana.”
The new Indiana law protects unborn babies by banning most abortions,” Micaiah Bilger says. “It allows abortions in cases of rape, incest, risks to the mother’s life or fatal fetal anomalies. According to Indiana Right to Life, less than 5 percent of abortions fit into these exceptions. That means almost all of the 8,400-plus unborn babies who were aborted last year in Indiana were killed for elective reasons.”
Under the law abortions could be performed only in hospitals or outpatient centers owned by hospitals.
The lawsuit was filed in arguably the single most receptive venue in the state.
The AP’s Tom Davies and Arleigh Rodgers wrote
It will be heard by a judge in southern Indiana’s Monroe County, which includes the liberal-leaning city of Bloomington and Indiana University’s main campus. All nine of the county’s nine judges are Democrats, while all other counties with abortion clinics have judges who’ve either been elected as Republicans or been appointed by Republican governors.
The ACLU’s Ken Falk said the suit was filed in Monroe County because an abortion clinic is located there but did not respond to a question about whether the group was seeking a friendly judge.
Indiana University law professor Jennifer Drobac at least answered the question. Drobac said she believed filing in the complaint in Bloomington could be where the ban’s opponents “have the greatest opportunity for success.”
Republican leaders were optimistic. “We set out to pass a bill in the special session that would protect life and support mothers and babies, and that’s what we did,” Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said. “It was always our intent to draft a bill that could withstand a constitutional challenge, and I hope to see that will be the case.”