Indiana Supreme Court keeps state abortion ban on hold, ignores AG’s request to set aside the preliminary injunction

By Dave Andrusko

Without explaining why, the Indiana Supreme Court in an order issued yesterday said “that it was taking over appeals of a judge’s decision last month that blocked the law a week after it took effect,” according to Tom Davies of the Associated Press. “It denied a request from the state attorney general’s office to set aside the preliminary injunction, setting a hearing on the lawsuit filed by abortion clinic operators for Jan. 12.”

All that the five-member Supreme Court wrote was that “a majority” of the court agreed with its provisions.

Indiana’s Senate Bill 1 was the first new protective pro-life law passed by a state legislature following the June 24th overturning of Roe v. Wade.  SB 1 was passed by the legislature on August 5 and signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb. 

The office of attorney general Todd Rokita had asked the justices to take over the case, which would bypass typical intermediate step of it being considered by the state appeals court.

A spokesperson for the state attorney general’s office sent out this statement:

Indiana’s Constitution says nothing about abortion, and our legislature outlawed abortion before, during and after the period when our citizens adopted our Constitution. Planned Parenthood can present no textual or historical argument in support of a right to abortion, and the Indiana Supreme Court rightly concluded that it needs to resolve the issue right away.  

Indiana Right to Life CEO Mike Fichter said “We are deeply disappointed the Indiana Supreme Court will allow the injunction against Indiana’s new abortion law to remain in effect pending appeal. We estimate at least three thousand unborn babies, whose lives otherwise might have been saved, will now needlessly die from abortion as the law remains blocked. Thousands more will die as we await a final ruling after the January hearing. Although we are confident the law will be upheld, it will be far too late for those whose lives will be lost as this is argued in the courts.”

Owen County Judge Kelsey Hanlon had blocked the law from being enforced. He 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 in the lawsuit.