INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled the state's near-total abortion ban is constitutional.
In the opinion handed down on Friday, the Supreme Court ruled to vacate the initial injunction against the law.
However, even with this ruling, there is another challenge facing the law on a basis of religious freedom. The plaintiffs named in that case remain free of the near-total abortion ban in the state, but it has not been made clear how far that expands to affecting other woman in the state.
State lawmakers last summer approved a near-total ban on abortion. Exceptions are available only in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy in cases of rape or incest and in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy if needed to save the mother’s life or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.
In September 2022, a Marion County judge blocked Indiana’s near-total abortion ban on grounds it violated the state constitution.
The Indiana Supreme Court, again, ruled against that Friday.
With the ruling from the high court for the state, the ban will go into effect as early as August 1. That is unless the ACLU or others file for a rehearing — which they have 30 days to do per Rule 65e.
Rule 54a allows the plaintiffs that time to file for a rehearing.
As for now, Indiana University law professor Jody Madeira explained it is likely the ACLU files for a rehearing based on the opinion of the supreme court today.
"(SB1) is not in effect currently because the Supreme Court remanded this case to back to the lower court for further proceedings," Madeira siad. "And so again, it could take us back to my prediction is as early as August 1, unless the ACLU files a petition for rehearing. I do think that they will (file for rehearing), but be more narrowly tailored considering the Supreme Court's opinion today.
Madeira says the opinion released today seems as if the justices expect the lawsuit to drag on for quite a bit of time.
"The Indiana Supreme Court almost seems to envision that it will drag on because several times they almost invite the plaintiffs to submit a narrower challenge either a facial challenge to the law," Madeira said.
Planned Parenthood temporarily paused their abortion care at their location on Georgetown Road from Dec. 2022 until last week. That pause on abortion procedures in Indianapolis is something abortion fund providers say put a strain on patients seeking access.
This story is developing.
Read the full opinion from the Indiana Supreme Court below.