Indiana’s abortion clinics reopen after judges ban them

Indiana’s seven abortion clinics were set to lose their state licenses under the ban — which only allows abortions in narrow exceptions at hospitals or outpatient surgical centers.

The ban was approved by the state’s Republican-dominated legislature on Aug. 5 and signed into law by the GOP governor. Eric Holcomb. This made Indiana the first state to enact stricter abortion restrictions since the US Supreme Court overturned federal abortion protections by ruling in Roe v. Wade in June.

The judge wrote that “there is a reasonable probability that this substantial limitation of personal autonomy violates the liberty guarantees of the Indiana Constitution” and that the clinics will prevail in the lawsuit. The order prevents the state from enforcing the ban pending a court hearing on the merits of the lawsuit.

Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita said in a statement, “We plan to appeal and continue to advocate for life in Indiana,” calling the anti-abortion law “a sensible way” to protect the unborn child.

Women’s Med expects to start seeing patients again starting Friday, McHugh said.

“I was really hoping for that, but to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting it,” she said. “So the fact that this happened is such a pleasant surprise and such a confirmation of what we’ve been saying all along.”

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

“Clearly, this landscape of legal back and forth creates disruptions in patient care and uncertainty for our staff,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, President and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health.

Indiana’s ban followed political firestorms surrounding a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled to the state from neighboring Ohio to terminate her pregnancy. The case drew widespread attention when an Indianapolis doctor said the child had come to Indiana because of Ohio’s ban on the “fetal heartbeat.”

An Ohio judge has temporarily blocked that state law, saying he will allow abortions up to 20 weeks gestation until after a court hearing scheduled for Oct. 7.

With Indiana now on hold, 12 Republican-led states have bans on abortion at any stage of pregnancy. In Wisconsin, clinics have halted abortions due to litigation over whether an 1849 ban is in effect. Georgia bans abortions as soon as fetal heart activity can be detected, and Florida and Utah have bans that take effect after 15 and 18 weeks of gestation, respectively.

The Indiana ban replaced state laws that outlawed abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and severely restricted them after 13 weeks. The ban includes exceptions allowing abortions in cases of rape and incest before 10 weeks after conception; to protect the life and physical health of the mother; and when a fetus is diagnosed with a fatal abnormality.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which represents abortion clinics, filed the lawsuit Aug. 31, arguing the ban would “ban the vast majority of abortions in Indiana and, as such, have devastating and irreparable effects on plaintiffs and what.” more importantly, their patients and customers.”

Indiana ACLU legal director Ken Falk pointed to the state constitution’s declaration of rights, including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” as he argued before the judge Monday that they have a right to privacy and decisions about it includes whether it does have children.

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

“The text of the Constitution makes no mention of abortion, and Indiana has prohibited or heavily regulated abortion by law since 1835 — before, during, and after the time when the Indiana Constitution of 1851 was drafted, debated, and ratified,” the bureau said in a court filing.

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

A 2004 state appeals court ruling says privacy is a core value of the state constitution that extends to all residents, including women seeking an abortion. But the Indiana Supreme Court later overturned that ruling without addressing whether the state constitution contained such a right.

Hanlon, a Republican who was first elected a judge in the rural district of Southern Indiana in 2014, wrote that the Indiana Constitution was “more explicit in affirming individual rights and limiting legislative powers to intrude on personal matters” than the Indiana Constitution US Constitution.

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

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