Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

politics

Abortion ban begins in Indiana following Supreme Court ruling Monday

caabortionruling082223.jpg

The Indiana Supreme Court voted to uphold Senate Enrolled Act 1, which bans abortions except for in limited cases, Monday. In August 2022 Indiana passed a near-total abortion ban, which has been unable to take effect until now. The ruling comes three weeks after the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which represented abortion clinics in the state, filed a petition to halt the near-total ban.

The new law only permits abortions in cases where there are severe risks to the life or health of the pregnant person, a lethal fetal anomaly up to 20 weeks or in the case of rape or incest up to 10 weeks.

Nearly two months ago the Indiana Supreme Court ruled SEA 1 does not violate the state constitution. On July 31, the ACLU of Indiana, representing Planned Parenthood and other providers, asked the court to delay the ban while it defines how far exceptions for “serious health risks” will extend.

[Related: Indiana Supreme Court approves near-total abortion ban]

The Supreme Court denied this request, stating that the ACLU effort to define a serious health risk would need to go through the regular judicial process.

Attorney General Todd Rokita issued a statement Monday supporting the decision.

“My office promised to defend Indiana's pro-life law, and we have done that every step of the way,” Rokita said in a statement. “Today, the Indiana Supreme Court certified its opinion rejecting a constitutional challenge to Indiana’s pro-life law, which protects the lives of innocent, unborn babies.”

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton issued a statement opposing the ruling.

“This terrible law unconscionably revokes basic human rights, denying women and all people capable of pregnancy the fundamental dignity and bodily autonomy that I believe is protected under the State constitution,” Hamilton said in the statement.

Planned Parenthood stopped providing abortion care on Aug. 1. Indiana hospitals also started following the limitations of the ban this month and surgical abortions in Indiana can only take place in a hospital or surgical center owned by a hospital.

[Related: Federal court upholds second-trimester abortion ban in Indiana]

“Today is a dark day in Indiana’s history, as a near-total abortion ban takes effect,” Indiana ACLU Executive Director Jane Henegar said in a press release Monday. “We have seen the horrifying impact of bans like this across the country, and the narrow exceptions included in this extreme ban will undoubtedly put Hoosiers’ lives at risk."

In a separate order issued Monday, Marion County Superior Court Judge Heather Welch stated she could not clarify which members of a class-action suit are covered by a preliminary injunction against the near-total abortion ban. In July, attorneys for the ACLU of Indiana – who challenged the ban on religious grounds – requested the Marion Superior Court clarify who the injunction protects. The issue will now be considered by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Get stories like this in your inbox
Subscribe