(LifeSiteNews) — Indiana’s near-total abortion ban took full effect today after judges upheld a ruling in favor of the law, refusing to rehear arguments from pro-abortion groups.
On Monday, judges voted 4-1 to deny an appeal from Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to challenge the law due to the low probability of success in effectively blocking the legislation.
According to a local news outlet, Chief Justice Loretta Rush expressed personal disagreement with the law but agreed that the pro-abortion challengers “have not properly put these concerns before us.” She specifically referenced “Hoosier women’s constitutional right [sic]” to abortion and her “concern” for women and healthcare providers involved in abortion.
Rush added that the injunction, which temporarily disabled the law from full effect, held “no sound legal basis for an interim injunction” and that legislative challenges are first required to go through a trial court that allows for “weigh[ing] competing evidence, including expert testimony.” The state Supreme Court, while holding more complete power, is unable to hear the arguments in the same detail as the lower court.
Senate Bill 1 will effectively ban most elective abortions in the state, with exceptions in place for women who are victims of rape to legally access abortions during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and for “safety” of the mother in cases deemed to seriously threaten her health or life. The law, originally passed last August, also permits the murder of the unborn if babies are diagnosed with an incurable condition “that is incompatible with sustained life outside the womb” up to 20 weeks.
Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities that are not hospitals are forbidden from committing abortions. As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, the ACLU had kept the law from taking full effect with a challenge under Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The legal challenge continued after the state’s Supreme Court upheld the law on June 30.
The decision on Senate Bill 1 comes months after a judge ruled Indiana’s ban on dismemberment abortion could take effect and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request to hear a challenge to a 2016 law requiring fetal remains to be buried.
In July, the state Supreme Court ruled that the bill did not violate Indiana’s constitution by severely limiting abortion. Before this decision, South Bend’s sole abortion center shut its doors after backing out of the legal fight challenging Senate Bill 1.