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Indiana Supreme Court upholds mandatory abortion counseling sessions

[JURIST] A law requiring women seeking an abortion in Indiana to undergo counseling about medical risks and abortion-alternatives and wait at least 18 hours after the session before obtaining an abortion has been upheld against facial challenges by the Indiana Supreme Court [official website]. The court ruled Wednesday that because the Indiana statute [text] does not "impose a material burden on any right to privacy or abortion" it must be upheld against any facial challenge. The court also noted that the counseling requirements are waived when there is a medical emergency and insisted that it was not ruling on whether the state constitution included a right to privacy or abortion. Federal courts have upheld the 1995 law, which didn't go into effect until 2003 because of court challenges. According to the Guttmacher Institute [advocacy website], a nonprofit group that researches reproductive health issues, Indiana is one of 31 states that requires women to attend counseling sessions prior to having an abortion. Read the Supreme Court's ruling [PDF text]. AP has more.

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