Indiana abortion law under consideration by U.S. Supreme Court

In this Jan. 7, 2019 photo, The Supreme Court is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Indiana's Pending Abortion Law
Indiana's abortion law

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - The debate over abortion is heating up as more states move to ban the procedure.

Wednesday, Alabama's governor signed into law the nation's most restrictive ban on abortions. It essentially outlaws the procedure in the state, making it a felony for providers, punishable by up to 99 years in prison.

Last week, Georgia joined three other states, banning abortions at the first sign of a heartbeat. But an Indiana abortion bill signed into law by then-Governor Mike Pence could be the biggest challenge to Roe v. Wade.

It was only a week after Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in on the U.S. Supreme Court when Indiana appealed a law that would allow the state to have the final say, not a woman, when it comes to abortion.

Pence, just three weeks before he was selected to be Donald Trump's running mate, signed the bill into law which would make it illegal to undergo an abortion for gender, race and disability, such as Down syndrome.

"The U.S. Supreme Court for many weeks now has been considering taking on Indiana's case that could be the beginning of the end for Roe v. Wade," Curt Smith from the Indiana Family Institute said.

In fact, Smith says it was up for consideration again Thursday.

"We know today it was under review for a 14th time. Maybe unprecedented, but certainly quite rare in the history of the Supreme Court," he continued.

Normally, the High Court considers an appeal for a week or two. If four of the judges vote to hear the case, it is granted a full review. If not, it is denied. The court has not done that, which means the Indiana law is still being considered by the Supreme Court.

"There is some important reason the court continues to keep this case on the front burner," Smith added.

There is some speculation the court might defer to the states. In other words, let individual states decide abortion law in that state.

It's almost a certainty the court will confront state restrictions on abortion when it convenes in October. At this point, we just don't know what bill it might hear.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana told Eyewitness News it believes the Supreme Court is taking it's time, trying to be fair and consider what is at stake.

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