The Circuit Court of Monroe County, Indiana, Thursday temporarily blocked the state’s abortion ban, SB 1. The law permits abortion up to 10 weeks in cases of rape or incest and up to 20 weeks in the case of a lethal fetal anomaly or if a pregnant person’s serious health or life is at risk.
The court found that plaintiffs are likely to succeed in litigation on their claim that SB 1 violates Article 1, Section 1 of the Indiana Constution, which declares liberty as an inalienable right of all Hoosiers. According to the court, it is reasonably likely that SB 1 is a “significant restriction of personal autonomy,” which “offends” the Indiana Constitution. Because plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their argument that SB 1 is unconstitutional, the ban is per se an irreparable harm. Additionally, the court determined that the balance of possible harms favors an injunction, and an injunction is not in the public’s disfavor.
In a joint statement, plaintffs Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, ACLU of Indiana, Whole Woman’s Health, All-Options, the Lawyering Project and Women’s Med said:
We knew this ban would cause irreparable harm to Hoosiers, and in just a single week, it has done just that. We are grateful that the court granted much needed relief for patients, clients, and providers but this fight is far from over. Indiana lawmakers have made it abundantly clear that this harm, this cruelty, is exactly the reality they had in mind when they passed S.B. 1. There are 1.5 million people of reproductive age in the state of Indiana, and every single one of them deserve the right to make their own decisions about their bodies, families, and futures.
Under the ruling, clinicians who provide abortion in Indiana will be permitted to continue services while the litigation proceeds.